nk606 | Chicago Reader

Recent Comments

Re: “Before the schools, Mayor Emanuel closed the clinics

Great column. I'm very glad you finally got around to discussing the Mayor's cuts to mental health services, which are so easy to overlook -- unless you need to go to these clinics. Everyone else easily turns the other way. As a leader of the local Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, I can tell you that cutting city mental health services does have a big impact and leaves many patients frustrated and less likely to seek out treatment. Illinois even before these latest cuts had a terrible reputation nationally for availability of mental health services, for a safety net. We got the lowest grades from national organizations that rate the quality of public mental health services across the state. Then comes more cuts.

Of course, the basic and underlying reason is that people with psychiatric illness are a relatively powerless constituent group that cannot apply much pressure to candidates, so there is little fear of upsetting them. Patients tend to be jobless, and poor, so there's little chance of anything close to a powerful lobby being formed.

It's tragic and wrong, and there is absolutely no question that the Mayor and City Council and Dept. of Public Health are being shortsighted and ignorant about the long-term effects of these closures on all of our safety and security. And, of course, we all pay anyway: Patients denied free mental health care in clinics will wait until they are very sick, go to an ER, and boost the cost of care for everybody.

Did you think a city could get away with avoiding its responsibilities to its most vulnerable population? That we would not all pay in some other way?

18 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by nk606 on 03/26/2013 at 11:40 PM

Favorite Places

  • None.
Find places »

Saved Events

  • Nada.
Find events »

Saved Stories

  • Nope.
Find stories »

Custom Lists

  • Zip.