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Mental Health Protesters Draw More Arrests

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Protesters gather on the 5th floor of City Hall to protest the planned closure of 6 mental health facilities.

    Police began arresting individual mental health protesters at City Hall Monday after they crossed a line and said they were going to "talk to Rahm."

    About 45 demonstrators gathered at City Hall to protest the closure of a number of mental health facilities in Chicago, and five of them were arrested for breaching a barrier.

    The protesters want to keep intact about 12 mental health facilities in the area -- including one in Woodlawn that drew protests last week. The city plans to close about half of those facilities.

    Officials say the centers will be closed because of a shift in focus for the city's health advisors.

    "These closures are part of the City’s comprehensive plan to expand access to services by partnering with community-based mental health providers at 60 locations across the city (way more than our current 12 City-run locations) and investing smarter," read a release from Efrat Stein from the deparment of public health. "We’ve already been able to invest $500,000 to provide psychiatry services to 1,000 people who have never been able to be served by City resources before."

    Three weeks ago a group locked itself in the Woodlan Mental Health Clinic at 6337 S. Woodlawn. Many of those protesters were arrested.