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About the Collaborative

The Collaborative for Community Wellness brings together mental health professionals, community-based organizations, and community residents to address the lack of mental health access and to redefine mental health to match the needs of the community.

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A timeline of our work

  • In May 2018, the CCW released findings of a mental health needs assessment conducted across ten southwest side communities in Chicago. The findings highlighted the overwhelming demand for mental health services across the southwest side. In addition, the assessment provided insight into experiences of mental health challenges and symptoms along with common mental health access barriers.

  • In September 2018, the CCW conducted a systematic search of private licensed therapists to determine the number of private practice licensed mental health clinicians listed for each zip code in the city of Chicago. The findings illustrated that the highest ratios of licensed clinicians are predominantly concentrated in low economic hardship areas in the north and central regions of Chicago.

  • From December 28, 2018 to January 15, 2019, the CCW investigated claims made by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) that 253 private providers were readily available to meet the mental health needs of the city. The CDPH provided a list of the 253 providers. An assessment of the accessibility of the listed providers had shown that only 59% of providers were reachable through phone calls. In addition, only 15% offered free services and 30% reported waitlists.

  • From May 30, 2019 and June 6, 2019, an assessment of the accessibility of 33 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) that were listed in the CDPH’s list of 253 providers. The CCW were  unable to reach approximately one quarter of the FQHCs. Half reported an average wait time of almost six weeks. The average cost of each session was $20. Additionally, the assessment had shown that many FQHCs provided a short-term, symptom-focused nature of treatment.

  • In 2020, the CCW replicated the systematic search of private licensed therapists originally conducted in 2018 to assess changes in the provider landscape. The findings were consistent with the search conducted in 2018. The updated search indicated that providers continue to be concentrated in low economic hardship areas in the north and central regions of Chicago.

  • In September 2020 the CCW launches the #TreatmentNotTrauma campaign with the introduction of a council order by Ald. Rossana Rodriguez and 7 co-sponsors calling for the creation of a crisis response and care model that is integrated into our CDPH public mental health clinics.

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