Emanuel’s privatizing mental health clinic in Roseland raises concerns

Source: Curtis Black, Chicago Reporter, November 3, 2016

When Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed six of the city’s 12 mental health clinics four years ago, the decision sparked sustained protest.  With his announcement last month that the city’s Roseland clinic will be privatized, it looks like the mayor has decided it is now safe to go after the remaining clinics. This move should not happen without public discussion, according to the Mental Health Movement, a coalition of clinic clients, grassroots groups and unions, has called for hearings on the Roseland clinic’s fate. The Health Movement initially withheld judgment when the city announced on Oct. 7 that the Cook County Health and Hospital System would take over management of mental health services at the Roseland Neighborhood Health Center, one of the remaining Chicago Department of Public Health clinics. In fact, the county seems to have a stronger commitment than the city to providing public health services, an organizer said. … Activists are concerned because last year, C4 announced that it was closing its doors due to billing problems, sending its 10,000 patients elsewhere.  A few weeks later, C4 announced it was joining CountyCare and would stay open. … The city describes C4’s takeover as an “increase [in] service options,” since the nonprofit would extend mental health services to children.   Again, Carter points out that activists have long called on the city to expand services. …