May 30, 2024

Mayor Johnson Announces Plans to Reopen Shuttered Roseland Mental Health Clinic on Far South Side, Expand Mental Health Services Across the City

Report details Mayor Johnson’s vision to reopen the Roseland Clinic, co-locate mental health services at the Legler Library, add services to a clinic on the Lower West Side, and rebuild the City’s mental health system after decades of cuts, privatization, and neglect.

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO – Today Mayor Johnson announced his plan to reopen the shuttered Roseland mental health clinic on the Far South Side by the end of this year. The City will expand clinical services at an additional two City-run locations, including adding mental health services at a City-run clinic in the Lower West Side (Pilsen) neighborhood, and co-locating services in the Legler Regional Library in West Garfield Park.  

“Chicagoans suffering from mental health problems and their families have been neglected and discarded for far too long. That ends today. My administration will not stand for more cuts, more privatization, and more neglect of our City’s mental health care system,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “It is time for a new era of rebuilding our City’s mental health care infrastructure to serve all of the people of Chicago.”  

The Roseland mental health clinic is one of the 14 mental health clinics that have been shuttered since 1989. Over the course of the past three decades, thousands of Chicagoans have lost access to mental health services through the closing of clinics across the City. The reopened Roseland mental health clinic will be operated by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH).  

"By opening two new City mental health centers, we are demonstrating the City's commitment to make continued investments in the mental health safety net system,” said CDPH Commissioner Dr. Olusimbo Ige. “Taking a public health approach to mental health promotion must involve partnership with all levels of government and our community partners all across the City to achieve collective impact and equity."  

The Roseland announcement comes as one of the major recommendations of the report issued by the Mental Health System Expansion (MSHE) Working Group. In September 2023, Mayor Brandon Johnson and Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez co-sponsored an Ordinance to establish the Mental Health System Expansion (MHSE) Working Group which passed City Council by a vote of 49-1 in October 2023.   

“I am so proud to see Treatment Not Trauma grow into a thoughtful and detailed plan to deliver lifesaving healthcare to communities across Chicago. I continue to be inspired by the hard work, courage, and leadership of community organizers and advocates for helping us all imagine a world where we can truly care for everyone,” said Chairwoman Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez. “I am grateful to Mayor Brandon Johnson’s leadership and commitment to investing in Chicago’s public mental health centers and to developing a non-police, restorative, first-responder network focused on both prevention and treatment.”  

The report puts forward a total of 40 recommendations that provide a framework and roadmap to expand mental health clinical services, reimagine an alternative response to mental health crises, and increase community awareness around available mental health resources. This work builds on the vision set forth by the Treatment Not Trauma (TNT) campaign, a coalition of community members, mental health care advocates, Alderpersons, clinicians, and young people concerned about the lack of mental health resources in Chicago.  

“We are so excited about this historic creation of the Treatment Not Trauma Task Force and report and look forward to centers reopening and a non-police mental health professional response to mental health crises - which is something that communities have been asking for a very long time,” said Susana Salgado, Community Organizing and Families Issues (COFI) Parent Leader. “There are so many cases of young people, and people of all ages experiencing crisis and not receiving the support that they need.” 

As part of a mental health continuum of care, the recommendations in the report aim to develop the municipal infrastructure and high-quality jobs needed for the City to provide services that meet the needs of all Chicagoans. These recommendations are the culmination of years of dedicated advocacy by the TNT campaign and center the lived experience and expertise of 400+ community members who participated in the City’s MHSE Working Group community engagement process.  

The MHSE Working Group’s recommendations are focused on the following outcomes:   

  1. Expand mental health clinical services;  
  2. Improve and expand non-police response for behavioral and mental health crises; and,  
  3. Increase community awareness of available mental health resources.   

Given the urgency of the need to expand mental health services for Chicagoans, the City has already begun to implement some of the strategies under Phase 1 of the MHSE Implementation Framework. For non-police response for behavioral and mental health crises, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has launched the hiring process for a new Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) role and for additional Crisis Clinicians to staff Crisis Assistance Response and Engagement (CARE) Alternate Response Teams. In 2024 the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Fire Department will roll off of CARE. 

The Johnson administration’s continued commitment to providing quality mental health resources is evident in the time and dedication invested in this effort by each of the Mayor’s Office teams and City departments that have supported the MHSE Working Group. Each recommendation has been evaluated with consideration to budget expansion; capital and facility needs; staffing, recruitment, and retention strategies; community input; state and federal legal and regulatory parameters; and metrics to guide implementation and success. In each phase, the MHSE Working Group will continue to collaboratively address challenges including funding, hiring, interdepartmental operations, worker safety, and regulatory limits, and will engage community partners and other governmental partners to continue in partnership.

The report can be read in full at this link.