As first responders to emergency calls, police play a critical role in determining whether people living with mental illness receive treatment or go to jail. But too few Chicago police officers are trained to handle these mental health crisis calls.
In March, Anthony Hill, an Air Force veteran who served in Afghanistan, was shot and killed by a police officer in suburban Atlanta. Neighbors called police when an unarmed Hill was seen wandering around his apartment complex naked. He had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Hill’s death is one example of a recent deadly encounter between police and people living with mental illness. Shootings in Dallas and Milwaukee also have made national news and sparked calls for better police training.
When residents of some of the city’s most violent neighborhoods need mental health treatment, they often seek help from social service and community organizations in their neighborhoods — help that can be hard to find.
What more can we do to ensure that the majority of ninth-graders in Chicago graduate from college prepared to fully engage with the global economy? First, we must recognize that our children’s academic success is inextricably linked with their social, emotional and physical well-being
Two years after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel shut down half of the city’s mental health clinics, the Mental Health Movement is charging that the city “is sabotaging its remaining services by refusing to serve people getting health benefits through the Affordable Care Act.” Tens of thousands of Chicagoans signed up for CountyCare, Cook County’s early rollout of ACA’s Medicaid expansion, but the city chose not to join the CountyCare network. A health department spokesman told the Tribune last month that current clients who enroll in Medicaid will be able to keep seeing their therapists. But a clinic staff member told me recently he’d been instructed not to accept CountyCare enrollees as new patients and to transfer patients who joined CountyCare to private providers. “The city is pushing people out and they’re not following up to see if they are getting care,” said N’Dana Carter of the MHM.