March 14, 2024

Duckworth Announces Nearly $650,000 in Congressionally Directed Spending to Help Bring Mental Health Services to Chicago’s West Side


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced $649,000 she secured through a Fiscal Year 2023 Congressionally Directed Spending Request will be sent by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to BUILD for their Mobile Mental Health (MMH) Program Expansion—a project dedicated to bringing mental health services to Chicago’s Austin, Garfield Park and Humboldt Park communities. With this support, BUILD will now have two mobile teams, each with one coordinator, two therapists and a Crisis Specialist focusing on crisis response, community outreach and trauma-informed care to decrease stigma around mental health services and provide accessible care in underserved Black and Brown neighborhoods.

“Our state and our nation are stronger when we invest in our communities—and that’s one of the things Congressionally Directed Spending allows us to do,” said Duckworth. “I’m so proud I was able to secure this critical support for BUILD Chicago’s Mobile Mental Health Program that will bring compassionate care directly to Chicagoans. I’m dedicated to ensuring Illinois continues to build upon our equitable healthcare efforts. Investing in mental health—and in working families—is key to uplifting our state and building a better future.”

“MMH has been effective because we focus on removing barriers to mental health services for community members,” said Clinical and Community Wellness Director Durrell Sheppard and Mobile Mental Health Manager David Rodriguez. “We provide resources to neighborhoods that have been traditionally ignored. We support young people and families who experience mental health crises. We come to you; you don’t have to come to us.”

This SAMHSA support will also go toward the Mobile Mental Health Program Expansion’s work with BUILD’s Crisis Response Unit (CRU) to help triage crises and manage clinical cases for young people and families at the scene of violent incidents. Two of the four therapists on the mobile teams will focus on crisis support.

MMH will also prioritize both Chicago youth at local schools in crisis situations and community outreach by offering immediate assessment and care, preventing hospitalization of youth at imminent risk of self-harm, conducting workshops for school groups, as well as by attending neighborhood events to build relationships within their service areas and spread awareness of the benefits of mental healthcare.

In FY22, Duckworth and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) secured $211 million through Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) for Illinois and another $182 million for Illinois in FY23. A map detailing where funding has gone throughout Illinois can be found here. The CDS process enables Members of Congress to allocate existing funding for specific local projects by units of government, nonprofit organizations and other organizations that meet strict eligibility requirements. Senator Duckworth worked with an Independent Review Board to examine and evaluate worthwhile projects focused on building infrastructure, stimulating economic development and providing essential services for Illinois communities.