Family Services and Mental Health Center of McHenry County Wins National Behavioral Healthcare Award

Back row: Chris Gleason, Jessica Zaucha, Elizabeth Mundy-Hemmerich, Dr. Rick Shepler, Chelesa Pierce Front row: Rebecca Jaster, Nicole O’Dea, Lisa Coffaro

(Springfield, IL) — Of the eight organizations from around the country that will be recognized in July as leaders in the field of behavioral healthcare for developing and implementing innovative approaches to management and process improvement, one will come from Illinois.

Sponsored by Washington, D.C.-based State Associations of Addiction Services and NIATx, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of the eight 2010 Innovation in Behavioral Healthcare Services Awards will be granted to Family Services and Mental Health Center of McHenry County.

The first-ever iAwards provide national recognition of agencies using innovative approaches and provide a venue for organizations to share how they have adapted to meet the changing needs of clients, staff and the addiction healthcare field.

Family Service staff partnered with Family CARE, Juvenile Court Services, the Mental Health Board, special education representatives, the crisis line, local police departments, and other community partners to explore alternative treatment models to better meet the needs of youth with co-occurring disorders.

As a result, McHenry County’s Integrated Co-occurring Treatment (ICT) program was created during the summer of 2008.  This evidence-informed treatment program for high-risk adolescents, ages 11 to 16, who have both substance abuse and mental health problems is based out of Kent State University under the direction of Dr. Rick Shepler.

The integrated treatment approach is embedded in an intensive home-based method of service delivery and provides a set of core services to youth and their families. The goals of ICT are to decrease mental health symptoms and substance abuse while improving a youth’s functioning within their family, school, community, and peer groups.

“Family Services and Community Mental Health Center deserves to be commended with this award for its leadership, innovation and commitment to youth,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association (IADDA).

Family Services is a member of IADDA.

Awards will be presented at the SAAS annual conference and NIATx Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, July11-14, 2010

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