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Mental Health Committee
Background on Mental Health Committee (MHC)
Background of Mental Health Committee is considered a historic event, the Schaumburg Township Mental Health Committee was created as a new component within the township organizational structure and was charged with the task of ensuring that the mental health needs of citizens in the community would be monitored and then addressed by suitable programs and services.
At a meeting in the old buttery Building on Roselle Road in Schaumburg, Schaumburg Township’s first Supervisor, Vernon Laubenstein, and other mental health advocates founded the Schaumburg Township Mental Health Committee in June 1971. The group devised the committee’s mandate, which was to “provide assistance and advice to the once-called Schaumburg Board of Auditors (now known as Schaumburg Township Trustees) so they might ensure “that the mental health needs of the community are met with quality comprehensive services”.
The Schaumburg Township Mental Health Board (the “MHC”), is comprised of eight voting members who are appointed to four year terms by Township Trustees. The MHC meets monthly on Tuesday evenings from September through June each year. Annually, a Township Trustee is named as a “liaison” to the Committee and works to assure communication and coordination of the MHC’s efforts with those of the Town Trustees.
MHC members are volunteers who give their time and skills for the benefit of those in the community who need mental health assistance. Individuals with experience or interest in mental health and social services are welcome to join in the work of the MHC. Interested parties can become “Associate Members” of the MHC—if all slots for voting members are filled. Typically, vacancies for voting members are filled from the ranks of the Associate Members.
As the consciousness of the board develops, members are guided by four basic objectives:
- Identifying and relating present mental health needs of Schaumburg Township
- Reviewing and monitoring current services and programs
- Informing residents of available services
- Reviewing plans for meeting the future mental health and social service needs of Schaumburg Township
Over time, many agencies with which the MHC deals have added a number of social services that are adjunctive and complementary to their basic commitments to mental health services. As a result, the MHC’s interests have broadened to include concern for generic social service needs as well as for the mental health needs in the community.
Susan Weisz – Chair
Mary Ann Oglivie - Vice Chair
Lauren Saternus - Member
Thomas Sucher – Member
Joanmarie Wermes - Member
Janet Abri - Member
Grace Thornton - Member
Jillian Bernas - Member
Kathy Strachurska - Associate Member
Diane Dunham – Board Liaison
Agencies Supported by Schaumburg Township
Over the years, and in cooperation with Schaumburg Township Trustees, the MHC established relationships with a number of mental health and social service agencies which it believed were in a good position to assist in providing mental health and social services to residents of Schaumburg Township who are in need. Generally, township funds are provided to selected agencies that can provide support services that will meet the family, marital, addiction, psychiatric, or legal needs of the township residents. With the burgeoning stress of modern life, Schaumburg Township was an early leader in assuring that its residents would have access to affordable counseling services, crisis intervention, and support groups regardless of their ability to pay.
How These Agencies Can Help You
Behavioral Health/Lutheran Social Services of Illinois serves individuals and families who are seeking help for issues related to alcohol and/or other drug use or dependency. Treatment services are provided on an outpatient and intensive outpatient basis. Assessments and treatment services for Spanish-speaking clients are provided on an outpatient basis. Sliding scale fees are available for eligible clients.
Salvation Army Family and Community Services has been a mainstay in the community since the late 1960s. This agency offers group and individual marital, personal and family counseling and therapy services that address a multitude of problems faced by citizens.
Kenneth Young Center is the local community mental health center providing assessment, counseling, and psychiatry to Schaumburg Township residents of all ages. Services are client driven and rehabilitation oriented. Our mission is to "help people feel good, do better and find solutions."
SHARE Program is a not-for-profit residential alcohol and drug abuse detoxification and rehabilitation treatment facility. SHARE offers a variety of service for male and female adults 18 years of age and older. SHARE also offers an array of outpatient level services, including gambling addiction treatment. This agency’s facilities are located in Hoffman Estates.
Life Span, Inc. provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence in Cook County, including counseling, advocacy and legal representation in the area of family law and immigration.
The Society for Preservation of Human Dignity (PHD) affirms the lives of women and families facing the issues of pregnancy and parenting. PHD provides opportunities for hope and growth through (1) professional counseling that includes: crisis intervention, decision-making, pregnancy and parenting issues, post-abortion, grief and loss, support groups; (2) education that includes: budget counseling, employment readiness, and parenting classes; and (3) support services that include pregnancy testing, community referrals and a baby and maternity closet. PHD in providing its service aims to meet the practical and emotional needs of each individual client. PHD also empowers you to make health life choices through: abstinence education in high schools; character building education in grade schools; and coaching junior high school parents in how to talk to their child.
The Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault (CASA) is available to help adults and children in need of counseling and emotional support if they fall victim to sexual assault, sexual abuse, or incest. Therapy is provided in English as well as Spanish. The agency 24-hour advocacy for victims at police stations, and through a crisis line. Victims also receive legal support in court. This agency is located in Arlington Heights and its services are offered free of charge.
Becoming a Member or as an Associate Member
If you want to know more about the mental health and social service challenges in our community and if you would like to contribute to addressing them, you may want to consider applying for membership on the Township Mental Health Committee.
If you live or work in Schaumburg Township, and if you are not employed by any agency receiving funds from Schaumburg Township, you may be eligible for membership on the Mental Health Board. Vacancies for voting members occur periodically. Any number of Associate Members can be accommodated at any time. Typically, as voting members leave the Mental Health Committee, replacements are chosen from the ranks of the Associate Members.
Again, membership involves attending eleven meetings per year and some committee work.
Interested in Helping the Agencies in Other Ways?
- You can make monetary donations to any of the agencies that work in areas where you have particular interest.
- Most of the agencies eagerly accept “gifts in kind.” Several agencies have re-sale shops, baby closets, and similar entities that can use gifts of goods. They also can use things like excess office supplies, surplus.
- Office equipment, and surplus food items. If you have something that you’d like to donate, call the agencies and they will tell you if they need your type of donated item.
- Attend fund-raising events sponsored by the agencies. Many have annual golf outings, dinner-dances, art auctions, and similar events where your participation would be welcome.
- Offer to serve the agencies in a volunteer capacity. Each agency has its own type of needs. Contact them to see if your time and talent would be useful to one of them.
Contacting the Mental Health Committee
You can contant the Mental Health Committee by calling 847-884-0030 x5201.
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