Innovate Mental Health-Chicago is a free convening designed to bring technologists, civic champions, planners, artists, educators and others who are typically excluded from conversations about mental health planning for the residents of Chicago. There are several strong advocates for mental health awareness and traditional treatment in Chicago, but with decreased resources, those efforts, unfortunately, are not sufficient to handle the needs of residents. Even further insufficiency is present for communities with high-risk factors and low protective factors that result in disproportionate amounts of people being affected by mental health illness or mental health conditions. By removing the barrier or cost for attendance and doing some very intentional and targeted outreach to participants, the Innovate Mental Health-Chicago Conference will support the development of new low cost and no-cost ideas, methods, or products/devices that could serve as viable solutions to address mental health in Chicago. The design of the convening will have some traditional conference offerings such as breakfast and lunch, but its session will be rooted in design-thinking and documentation.
Innovate Mental Health-Chicago was scheduled for May 1, 2020, but has been postponed due to COVID-19. However, virtual planning is occurring with a rescheduled date of Thursday, October 1, 2020.