I don’t know how many of you have been following what has been happening in Chicago lately, but on Saturday hundreds of protestors marched to the mayor’s house in protest of the recent closure of six mental health facilities in the area.
Many local patients are now without care after the closure of those six (which made up half of the facilities originally available) mental health facilities in the area and are increasingly concerned about the route Mayor Emanuel seems to be taking in what appears to be privatization of local mental health care.
This is a really unfortunate situation, and though I absolutely commend the efforts of the protestors in Chicago (they also went door to door handing out leaflets) I can’t help but feel horrified that basic mental healthcare was cut so drastically without any alternatives available for patients.
I know that here in Seattle, the mental health services are stretched very thin as it is, and without enough affordable doctors and therapists there have been wait lists months long, forcing people to go to the emergency room before viably being able to see a psychiatrist. When someone is already feeling hopeless, one of the worst things you can throw at them is denying them healthcare, there isn’t much more you can do to make someone feel more hopeless! I hope the mayor of Chicago comes to his senses and makes a change, because I’m afraid the only thing his decision will do is increase violence and suicides in the meantime.
Do you know what actions your local political leaders are taking for or against mental healthcare? I would definitely recommend checking it out, it is good to know what actions are being taken, and heck… who to vote for!
Meanwhile, this drizzly Seattle Monday morning my heart goes out to you folks in Chicago.