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Mental Health Crisis Response Program Expanding to the 50th Ward


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CHICAGO, IL- Vital mental health services are coming to the 50th Ward. The City of Chicago just announced an upcoming expansion of the Crisis Assistance Response and Engagement (CARE) program to our neighborhood. CARE integrates mental health and substance use professionals into teams that respond to 911 emergency calls when those calls have a mental health or substance use component.

By this summer, CARE mental health teams will expand to the 50th Ward, as well as Rogers Park and parts of Edgewater. This is an alternate 911 approach that embeds behavioral health professionals into emergency response. Our community was identified as a neighborhood with a high volume of mental health-related 911 calls. This expansion will help those in crisis access the care they need, while freeing up the police to respond to more appropriate emergencies.


CARE teams pair mental health professionals with a responding paramedic, and with a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) police officer when needed. Responding teams offer de-escalation, mental health assessment, referrals to community services, and transport to community-based destinations as appropriate. The CARE team conducts follow up at 1, 7, and 30 days with all individuals that they encounter.

The CARE program launched in September 2021 in a small area of the city and has successfully responded to 539 incidents so far. Details about the CARE program and response outcomes are available on the CARE data dashboard.

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