Revolutionary mental health and addiction clinic opens on the South Side

CHICAGO -- For years, activists demanded better mental health and substance abuse services on Chicago's South Side. Tomorrow, their dream comes true, when a revolutionary facility opens in the Roseland community.

The Community Triage Center (CTC) is part of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System, which is locally and federally funded.  With continued funding cuts to social service agencies, health officials say a place like the CTC will ease the burden on those who are ill and on the facilities that have been accepting them.

The first-of-its-kind walk-in clinic offering mental health and addiction treatment is based in Roseland because the need is great there. It's open 24/7. People who are deeply troubled can go there to be served and comforted.

The CTC is staffed by masters-level nurses, licensed clinical social workers, case managers and peer supporters. The center is also partnering with Chicago police to reduce unnecessary detentions. Additionally, every Chicago officer is being trained in crisis intervention, to detect people who are not criminals but are mentally ill or using drugs or alcohol.

Programs that already helped 15,000 people at the Cook County Jail are also now being brought to the community, so the mentally ill and addicted have a safer more stable environment in which they can get better.