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6 Arrested At Mental Health Clinic Closure Protests

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Jun 13, 2012 4:20PM

Aaron Cynic

Six people were arrested Tuesday while protesting the city's decision to close half of the mental health clinics in Chicago. The protesters were at the city public health offices downtown demanding the health commissioner resign. Those arrested were trying to sit-in outside Health Commissioner Dr. Bechara Choucair's office.

One activist called Choucair a "butcher," who "has done nothing but tell lies." CBS Chicago writes:

The activists say the closure of the Beverly-Morgan Park Mental Health Center cost patient Helen Morley her life.

“She said, ‘If you close these clinics, I’ll die.’ And that’s what she did — she died,” friend Sharon Payne said.

Other protesters said that Morley made it clear how much she depended on her clinic and therapist, and claimed that stress from the clinic closures contributed to her death.

Protesters say many patients can't afford to pay higher fees, and more clinics are needed. But The Chicago Department of Public Health says the clinic changes will allow more than 1,000 new patients to access city mental health services.