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The Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center (LCHD/CHC) recently received two grants to better serve people with mental illness in Lake County. It received a four-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the amount up to $400,000 per year. The total award is a maximum of $1,600,000. LCHD/CHC received this grant to support and enhance integration efforts started in 2015 at its behavioral health center in Libertyville. Funds will specifically be used to improve health outcomes for those patients with severe mental illness by adding supportive services focused on improving their health outcomes, e.g., obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease at the location.
“Persons with chronic mental illness tend to die 20-25 years earlier than the general population,” said Mark Pfister, the Health Department’s Interim Executive Director. “These deaths are often due to a lack of engagement in care of treatable and preventable medical conditions. To address this concern, we recently added primary care services to our Outpatient Mental Health Services program in Libertyville to provide its mental health patients with easy access to medical care. The grant will substantially reinforce this initiative.”
In addition to the psychiatry, therapy and general medical care already available at the site, patients will have access to supportive services including peer support, substance abuse counseling, tobacco cessation counseling, care coordination, case management and nutritional counseling.
The Health Department was also awarded $84,500 from the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation. The two-year grant will support a countywide mental health first aid training program for individuals and agencies serving youth. The Health Department will begin conducting these trainings throughout the community in the spring of 2017. Targeted groups will include personnel at schools, juvenile justice agencies, faith-based organizations and youth-serving non-profits. The project will also add treatment capacity by funding two part-time child and adolescent counselors in the Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services Program at the Health Department’s 3010 Grand Avenue location in Waukegan. Mental health first aid training empowers individuals to identify mental health disorders and connect individuals experiencing these disorders to treatment resources.
LCHD/CHC provides treatment, training and support services to persons experiencing problems related to emotional and mental illness, or drug and alcohol addiction. Its many services use various forms of evidenced-based treatment in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Individual and group therapy, case management, housing counseling, psychiatric medication, and emotional/cognitive skill building methods of treatment are used.