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BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Mental Health Movement Occupies Mayor’s Office

by Mental Health Movement on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 12:38pm ·

** BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Patients, healthcare providers, and advocates from the Mental Health Movement have occupied the lobby outside of the Mayor’s Office. One demonstrator has been arrested so far. They say they are prepared to stay for days to draw attention to the crisis clinic closings have precipitated, and to demand a stay of execution for the clinics from Mayor Emanuel, Governor Quinn, and President Obama. **

Mon 4/30: Mental Health Movement Demonstrate at Obama Campaign HQ, State of IL Building, and Mayor’s Office to Demand All Chicago Mental Health Clinics Remain Open Speakers at 5:15pm Mayor’s Office press conference to include Dr. Quentin Young National Director of Physicians for a National Health Program former doctor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and therapists from all City mental health clinics

 10:15am-Busses depart from Woodlawn Clinic 6337 S. Woodlawn or from 2339 N. Milwaukee

11am- Rally at Obama Campaign HQ 130 E. Randolph

12pm- Rally outside State of IL Building (Randolph between Clark and LaSalle)

5:15pm- Press conference on 5th floor of City Hall 121 N. LaSalle

 CHICAGO 4/30 — On Monday April 30th, at 11am, the Mental Health Movement will visit Obama Campaign Headquarters to deliver what is now a global call to President Obama demanding a stay of execution for Chicago’s mental health clinics. Six of Chicago’s 12 public mental health clinics are currently being dismantled and are scheduled to be closed this month.

 At 12pm the same day, the group will rally at the State of Illinois building to ask Governor Quinn to pardon the City Clinics and stop Medicaid cuts, and at 5:15pm dozens of City therapists will be joined by notable doctors including Dr. Quentin Young at a press conference at City Hall outside the Office of the Mayor to denounce the disastrous repercussions of clinic closings and health care cuts. Patients and advocates will join them to share their stories, bringing the life-and-death struggle to save Chicago’s clinics to the Mayor’s doorstep, and demanding he serve the people of Chicago by providing vital public health services to his neediest constituents.

 The Mental Health Movement’s demands are to keep all 12 Chicago public mental health clinics open, fully funded, and fully staffed, and to keep Chicago’s seven primary care neighborhood clinics open and public. Patients, healthcare workers and advocates say cuts planned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel are undermining President Obama’s goals of expanding access to healthcare.

 “There will be no African-American males left to provide care and therapy to that particular population after the layoffs and clinic closures. That will leave the African-American male population disconnected. It’s a difficult time already coming to therapy because of the stigma. We welcome them in, make them feel comfortable, that they did the right thing, talk about their problems and provide medication if they need it. There are a lot of uninsured people who come to the clinic and this is their last resort, but there will be nobody there to connect with them that knows their cultural background. I know the people I see, I know what they’re going through, I know this transition is already a disaster and that people need the safety net that is the City of Chicago public mental health centers,” says Steven Dyson, LCPC, a speaker at today’s press conference and a therapist at the Woodlawn Clinic who has spent 26 years with City of Chicago Mental Health Clinics.

 On April 12th, 23 people - mostly patients of Chicago’s mental health clinics - were arrested barricading themselves into one of six mental health clinics that Mayor Emanuel aims to close by April 30th, 2012. Protesters have gathered 24-hours-a-day since then to call attention to the tragic consequences of closing mental health clinics. To date, 35 demonstrators have been arrested in the fight to save Chicago’s mental health clinics.

 To donate to the Mental Health Movement, visit: www.tinyurl.com/mhmdonate

 Mental Health Movement: www.facebook.com/SaveOurClinics || #SaveOurClinics STOP Chicago: www.stopchicago.org || @StopChicago

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