Treatment Not Trauma

JCUA’s newest community safety campaign is for Treatment Not Trauma, a common-sense solution to overpolicing and mental health crises Chicago.

In far too many occasions, when Chicagoans are facing mental health crises, CPD officers are dispatched, which can often intensify situations rather than diffuse them. This campaign would create a dedicated response team of social workers and mental health experts who would respond to crisis situations where they are better equipped than police to support Chicagoans. We see Treatment Not Trauma as an exciting, innovative, but most importantly effective way to ensure community safety outside the strict confines of policing.

Treatment Not Trauma proposes:

  • Creating a city-wide 24-hour hotline to connect people with non-police crisis response units made up of social workers, paramedics, and peer-support workers.
  • Reopening Chicago’s six closed public mental health clinics.
  • Halting the implementation of the Mayor’s police co-responder program that continues to send officers to mental health crisis emergencies.
  • Investing $100 million for the creation of a city-wide non-police crisis response.
  • Developing teams of social workers, paramedics, and peer-support workers who will respond to crises (instead of police) within the community

A recent poll found that 82% of respondents support the proposed measures. Treatment Not Trauma also appeared as a non-binding ballot referendum in the 6th, 20th, and 33rd Wards in November 2022, with over 90% of voters expressing support.