She was broke and about to lose her home after her father died. Although she had a doctorate in literature and had once taught at a college in California, she had been fired from the only job she could get — as a clerk at a local drugstore.
The job was gone. So was her will to go on. But a friend persuaded her to give the Beverly center a chance. “They treated you like you were a human being, like you were normal,” Sullivan said.
She continued to go back, but even after six years of therapy she kept “suicide as a backup plan,” she said. Eventually, her therapist convinced her that she could not get well “if I always had an exit strategy.”
The city’s plan to close Beverly-Morgan Park Center and five others — Auburn Gresham Mental Health Center, Chicago Woodlawn Mental Health, Northwest Mental Health Center, Back of the Yards Mental Health Center and Northtown Mental Health Center — literally puts lives at risk, Sullivan said.
“I wouldn’t be here without my clinic,” she said.