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Current Research Initiatives

The CCW is currently undertaking several research initiatives to collect quantitative and qualitative data on community members’ experiences accessing mental health services within the city of Chicago.


Mental Health Service Access in Chicago: Community Survey

Drawing on the wealth of experience in quantitative research methods and survey design among our membership, the CCW’s Research Working Group collectively designed a community survey to assess mental health needs, service access barriers, awareness of services offered through the CDPH mental health clinics, and interest in accessing CDPH mental health services. The link to the electronic survey has been disseminated widely to community members across the city. Preliminary quantitative data to date indicate that although more than three quarters (77.4%) of survey respondents are unaware that the city of Chicago operates five mental health clinics, an overwhelming majority (90%) answered “Yes” or “Probably Yes” to the question of whether they would seek services if there was a city-run mental health clinic in their neighborhood.


Photovoice Project

In collaboration with the School of Social Work at Dominican University, the CCW is undertaking a photovoice project to learn more about how the sociopolitical and local community contexts in which individuals live impact their mental health and inform their experiences accessing mental health services. Eleven southwest side community residents took photos capturing their experiences and participated in a focus group interview to discuss the themes reflected in the photographs. Testimonials highlighted that not only does the city’s lack of investment in communities of color have profound negative impacts on mental health, but also that the city’s divestment in public mental health services impedes community members from accessing the supportive services that they need to heal from the trauma of systemic disinvestment.    

Mental Health Provider Map

In 2020, the CCW sought to replicate the 2018 search to produce an updated mental health provider map. This brief provides an overview of the methodology used to conduct the 2020 search and highlights the updated mental health provider map and its key findings. In September of 2020, a team of five researchers conducted a systematic search to determine the number of private mental health providers listed on the websites and for each zip code in the city of Chicago.

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