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.
In October 2020, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the city was awarding a total of $8 million in grant funds to 32
private non-profit providers to support their delivery of mental health services. To understand the real-world accessibility of mental health services available through these private non-profit providers, the Collaborative for Community Wellness undertook a systematic assessment of the private non-profit providers who received grant funds through the city. The aim of this assessment was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the services that these organizations provided and to explore the extent to which they addressed commonly cited access barriers related to cost, insurance coverage, geography, and organizational infrastructure and capacity.
Between August 26, 2020 and March 3, 2021, the Collaborative for Community Wellness surveyed community residents across the city of Chicago to assess mental health needs and barriers to accessing services. Consistent with findings from past research, data indicated that despite a high demand for mental health support, limited availability of free services impedes community residents from addressing their mental health needs and attaining optimal well-being. There is also an overwhelming demand for mental health services through the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) public mental health centers, however a large majority of the survey respondents were unaware of their existence.