Published on October 10th, 2018 | by Nicole Vear
Mental Health Advocacy in Chicago Gets a $1 Million Boost From a Native Sun in Chance the Rapper
Today is World Mental Health Day and the latest efforts from an artist within the music industry highlights why the day is so important. Chance the Rapper brings a joy and perseverance in his music that spills over to the various things he is passionate about. As he has advocated both vocally and financially for justice and equity within the school system of his hometown of Chicago, he has now turned that advocacy to the arena mental health. Chance has been vocal about prioritizing and opening a police academy over structural and educational needs . And in 2017 he openly discussed his views on mental health in his city where Mayor Rahm Emanuel closing six mental health facilities.
Most recently, Chance presented his latest endeavor to support Chicago. On September 4th, during the second annual summit for his nonprofit SocialWorks, he announced is donating $1 million dollars to help improve mental health services in Chicago. The initiative called My State of Mind includes giving six mental health providers $100,000 grants in Cook County, Illinois and aims to offer adequate treatment. Since the 1960s, the number of beds in Illinois’ state-run psychiatric hospitals has decreased to fewer than 1,500 from 35,000, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The latest closures in 2012, including the Tinley Park center, coincided with Chicago shuttering half of its 12 mental health clinics.
Oppressive conditions, violence and willful negligence by officials have the potential to harm everyone in communities in which they occur. The opportunity to receive the physical and mental support to live, thrive and work throughout trauma experienced can be challenging. The places that often suffer educationally, politically and economically often suffer psychologically. Chicago is a city that has been under siege in the media and by its political leadership, yet there are people who have been working towards changing this paradigm and Chance joins them in another move for specific change.
See Chance’s announcement here: