January 23, 2019

Over the last few years, the conversation about mental health has shifted in our city. There have been important discussions around mental health and trauma support, advanced training, and stigma reduction for mental health. These are important steps, but if we want to really advance change in Chicago's mental health system, we have to think bigger.

NAMI Chicago and our partners - those with lived experience, providers, and advocates - have produced a Roadmap to Wellness to lay out our vision for a vibrant, well city. This roadmap is designed to support leaders and policy makers with key insights and actionable recommendations for change, such as investing in the wellness of public employees experiencing high levels of stress and expanding staff with expertise in behavioral health issues within the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Mayor’s office.

Read the Roadmap to Wellness here.

Sign-ons for the Roadmap include:
Children’s Home & Aid
Cook County Sheriff's Office
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Health and Medicine Policy Research Group
Heartland Alliance
Illinois Association for Behavioral Health
Illinois Collaboration on Youth
Illinois Psychiatric Society
John Howard Association
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI)
MADO Healthcare
Mental Health America of Illinois
NAMI Illinois
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Illinois Chapter
Psychotherapy Action Network
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
The Kennedy Forum Illinois
The Mental Health Summit
Village of Niles

December 17, 2018

Mental health and substance use treatment works. It just needs to be accessible at the right time and in the right place. With stable housing, employment opportunities, support in the community and proper treatment, people live full lives, like others living with other medical conditions.

NAMI Chicago, together with The Kennedy Forum Illinois and Thresholds, has issued a set of recommendations to Governor-elect Pritzker and members of the General Assembly to guide key policy priorities in 2019 and beyond. Prioritized over the next three years, these recommendations focus on:

Prioritizing Prevention and Early Treatment
Developing Services for People in a Mental Health or Substance Use Crisis
Ending Insurance Discrimination

View the Executive Summary or the full report.

February 28, 2018

In 2017, NAMI Chicago was appointed co-chair of the Illinois Mental Health Opportunities for Youth Diversion Task Force (Public Act 99-0894), focused on enhancing diversion services for justice involved youth living with mental health conditions. The Task Force released the final report on February 28, 2018.

STEMMING THE TIDE: Diverting Youth with Mental Health Conditions from the Illinois Juvenile Justice System

The Task Force began their work with a scan of diversion programs as a starting point. The Mental Health Diversion Programs Best Practice Guide describes the programs operating at the beginning of 2017 in Illinois and nationally, looking at the commonalities among these programs.

NAMI Chicago's 2015 white paper, Making the Case for Funding and Supporting Comprehensive, Evidence-Based Mental Health Services in Illinois, explores the state of Illinois' public mental health system, the ability of the system to provide recovery-promoting services, and how to build a better system for the future.