Chicago, Illinois
CTSHealth Chicago

CTSHealth Chicago is on a mission to break down barriers in the community and provide access to much needed mental health services. This organization launched the first Chicago office in 2016 in the Westside area. Since that time, CTSHealth Chicago has opened additional offices in the Northside and Southside and plans to expand to a total of five locations by the end of 2024.

CTS offers full service community mental health centers, providing case management, community support, outpatient therapy, and psychosocial rehabilitation. In recent years, CTSHealth has been awarded grants to support all regardless of ability to pay, immigration status, or health insurance.

Collaboration in the community has been essential for the success of CTSHealth and promoting the growth of mental wellness supports in the Chicago area. By working together, organizations can better identify and address local needs, ensuring services are culturally appropriate and geographically accessible to underserved populations. CTSHealth has been able to foster connections with the large Hispanic community and growing Polish residents.

Katie Tapert-Mercado of the Chicago Department of Family Support Services recalled meeting Daniel Cabrera of CTSHealth in the fall of 2017, after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico causing many families to flee and relocate to Chicago. Cabrera worked with Family Support Services to connect the affected families to housing and other basic resources. Tapert-Mercado described that area of Chicago as “a mental health desert for Spanish speaking clients” and was ecstatic to form a partnership with CTSHealth and expand its network of trauma-informed care.

Involvement in the community normalizes conversations about mental health, reducing stigma and encouraging more people to seek help. Joint initiatives promote mental health awareness and education, ability to recognize the signs of mental illness and understand the importance of early intervention. Collaborations lead to offering more sustainable services and advocacy for effective policy changes and funding. These strategies contribute to strong community bonds and networks, resulting in an overall increased resiliency.

Infant Welfare Society Chief Executive Office Jerry Isikoff notes that “as mission-aligned partners dedicated to serving vulnerable children in Chicago, we work in concert to address patients’ physical and mental health needs to ensure quality of life, now and for generations to come.”

Lack of funding or health insurance, immigration status and lingering stigma does not deter this group in providing mental health programs and assistance. CTSHealth is committed to expanding their services and reach in Chicago for a better quality of life for individuals and the community as a whole.