In response to the epidemics of violence, drug abuse family instability due to home foreclosures, and other urban pressures on Chicago’s West Side citizens, State Representative La Shawn K. Ford called together agency leaders, hospital executives, and other community stakeholders with representatives of state Departments of Human Services, Mental Health Services, and Children & Family Services to consider potential opportunities for sharing services and working together more effectively to solve potentially explosive mental health problems.
Specifically, Rep. Ford, who has been appointed to the House Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, is proposing establishing a Mental Health Crisis Drop-in Center in Austin where individuals can receive assistance and referrals to avoid tragedies from occurring. His proposal was positively received but many participating agencies and state department heads cited budget constraints as a factor working against implementation of Ford’s proposal.
Ford says he is not deterred or discouraged, saying he believes sufficient resources can be assembled to launch a pilot project.
Persons and agencies interested in participating in developing the Mental Health Crisis Drop-in Center are encouraged to call Rep. Ford’s Constituent Service Office at 773/378-5902 or 708/445-3673.