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Mental Health in Chicago

According to the 2014 Healthy Chicago Survey, people in Chicago experienced an average of 3.1 bad mental health days in a 30 day period. The study reports those living below the federal poverty level had 2.5 times more bad days than those with higher incomes. Another source shows that 34% of teens in Chicago felt impacted by symptoms of depression, and up to half of inner-city teens felt they experienced depression.

A study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that from 2012 to 2014, around 27% of people over age 12 had binged on alcohol in the most recent month, and 3% reported the nonmedical use of pain medication. Meanwhile, only 8% of those received treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. The same study reports that in 2013, up to 69% of public high school students had consumed alcohol, and 50% had used marijuana.

The Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health provides behavioral health services for its residents on a community level. People in the Chicago area can receive a wide array of services to address their mental health needs through Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), which is a comprehensive avenue of care with teams professionals. These teams take on small caseloads and care for those in their charge. Unlike case management, ACT works to provide treatment and not just oversight to clients in need.

Other basic services provided through the Division of Mental Health include crisis response and intervention, programs for those who are hearing or vision impaired, interventions for children with incarcerated parents, family services, individual therapy, job training, unemployment assistance, rehabilitation, psychosocial support, and medication management. The Division of Mental Health works hard to reach all its residents in need and collaborates with community, school, state, and local resources to ensure each resident can access and receive the care they need.


  1. Assertive Community Treatment. (2013). Illinois Department of Human Services. Retrieved from
  2. Chicago metro sentinel community site (SCS) drug use patterns and trends, 2017. (2017). Retrieved from 
  3. List of mental health treatment. (2013). Department of Human Services. Retrieved from 
  4. Measuring Chicago’s health: Findings from the 2014 Healthy Chicago Survey. (2015). Retrieved from 
  5. Mental health statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from  
  6. State & county quickfacts, Chicago, Illinois. (2016). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved from,US/PST045216