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Treatment Not Trauma

What is Treatment Not Trauma? 

Treatment Not Trauma is a campaign pushed forward by a coalition of community members, alderman, social workers, and youth, who all want to see a city with a funded, robust public care system and a city wide crisis response program that dispatches properly trained mental health professionals and EMT, not armed police officers. Our goal is to demand that the leaders of our city understand the importance of investing in the infrastructure of a public care system for the safety of the people of Chicago. 

Why do we need TNT?

In order to find a solution to Chicago’s public safety crisis we need to create a system of care that is public, open to all, and accessible (in terms of price, location, and language). With proper funding, clinicians will have the resources and training meant to de-escalate situations that are rooted in a code of ethics and trust. Currently the City response, with very few exceptions, involves sending an armed police officer. Police are never an appropriate response to the mental health care needs of residents. An armed response by officers can drastically escalate a situation, heighten tensions between police and individuals, and potentially lead to a fatality.

Here are the facts of our current situation: 

The risk of being killed by police is 16 times greater for individuals with untreated mental illness than for other residents.

78.6% of the city lives in areas with less than 0.2 therapists per 1000 residents while 21.4 lives in areas with 4.3 therapists per 1000.

The City provided funding to private organizations to provide mental health services. When CCW called these agencies, 17% did not serve undocumented residents, and 25% did not serve people without insurance. Less than half offered free services.

The Referendum

We are working to put a question on the ballot for voters in your area about moving to a Treatment Not Trauma care model that would reopen the closed public mental health clinics and offer non-police crisis response.

The Question:

Shall the City of Chicago reopen all of the closed Chicago Department of Public Health mental health centers in support of a city-wide crisis response program that dispatches mental health professionals and an EMT to mental health emergency calls instead of police officers?

How We Get It Passed

We need YOUR help! We have to show our elected officials that this referendum is not only supported by the people, but wanted and voted for BY THE PEOPLE!

Help us get the word out!

In order to get this referendum passed, we need the help of our concerned community members to spread the word!

Sign up to canvass

We will be focusing our canvassing efforts in 6th, 20th, 33rd Wards. If you would like to get involved, you can sign up to canvass! Click the ward for more information:

6th Ward 

20th Ward

33rd Ward 


Make your voice heard and vote for the referendum on the ballot in the upcoming election on November 8th! You can also vote early. If you are not already, register to vote or update your registration address. 

Voter Registration

Early Voting Sites

Let’s Work Together

Get in touch so we can start working together.

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