Federal Funding Brings Mental Health Services


The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and the Community Mental Health Council, Inc. to Provide Additional Treatment to At-Risk Populations

CHICAGO, December 17, 2009 - Critical mental health services are coming to Chicago's South Side thanks to the FY 2010 Omnibus Appropriations Bill signed this week by President Obama. The $350,000 in federal funding, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill), will provide vital programs targeted to underserved and at-risk populations. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCS), working in partnership with the Community Mental Health Council, Inc. (CMHC), will oversee the initiative, which will put more trained mental health workers on the ground working face-to-face with clients, particularly with those at-risk of becoming involved with the criminal justice system.

The appropriation comes at a critical time for mental health services in Chicago. Budget deficits on the state and city level have resulted in hiring freezes, reduced staff, and outright agency closure, leaving thousands of people without mental health care. The new funding will help reverse this trend by supporting the dispatch of doctoral students and postdoctoral clinicians dedicated to providing at least 8,000 hours of face-to-face treatment to CMHC clients in need.

"So many families struggle with treatable mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse," said Rep. Jackson, Jr. "I applaud the efforts of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and the Community Mental Health Council as they work to prevent suffering of thousands of children and adults. It is incredibly important, especially during times of crisis, to address the shortage of mental health professionals and provide patients with necessary, vital treatment."

Located in Chicago's South Shore with Outpatient sites in the Englewood and Chatham-Avalon neighborhoods, CMHC provides front-line help to thousands of residents struggling with mental illness, substance abuse, and other behavior disorders.

"We are thrilled Congressman Jackson and President Obama recognize the need to provide support for a comprehensive community mental health center," added Dr. Carl Bell, president and CEO of CMHC. "Together with TCS, we will be able to provide Chicagoans with the needed mental health care and protective factors to ensure their wellness during these trying times."

The Chicago School and CMHC initiative will concentrate of four areas of need: rehabilitation services, substance abuse, juvenile justice, and child and family services.

Rehabilitation Services
Chicago School students and faculty will provide direct treatment services to strengthen the impact of CMHC's Rehabilitation Services for adults transitioning into the community from a correctional setting. The program will address unique psychological factors that undermine successful employment and increase risk for recidivism. Evidence-based psychosocial rehabilitation, vocational services and training, job seeking skills development and emotional readiness, case management, and mentally ill/substance abuse treatment also will be provided.

Substance Abuse Services
TCS faculty and students will aid CMHC in its efforts to deter the onset of substance use or limit the development of problems associated with using psychoactive substances among area youth, as well as provide treatment and therapy for those struggling with addiction (and their family members).

Mental Health Juvenile Justice
TCS' post-doctoral personnel will provide additional supervision for psychology externs who provide some services for Mental Health Juvenile Justice as well as provide direct services, on an as-needed basis via psychological testing.

Child and Family Services
TCS students and faculty will help CMHC's Child and Family Services Center provide clinical treatment to young people ages 4-17 and their families with a continuum of care services that include assessment, therapy, counseling and case management and residential and supportive services to strengthen individuals and families.

The project will be coordinated by Dr. Grant White, TCS associate professor of clinical psychology and associate vice president of CMHC's Outpatient & Family Services. "In this situation, everyone wins," said Dr. White. "Chicagoans get quality, treatment right away, the Council can keep up with the growing need during the shaky economy, and our students get priceless hands-on training. The Chicago School trains psychologists to make a real impact in the world, and this program will help doctoral students do just that right now when and where it is most needed."

About Community Mental Health Council, Inc.
For over 30 years, Community Mental Health Council, Inc. (The Council) has helped tens of thousands of individuals and families who struggle with the challenges of mental illness. We have conducted groundbreaking research that examines the effects of race, culture and ethnicity on behavioral healthcare issues. We have provided thousands of hours of education and consulting services to the community, professionals, public entities and other not-for-profit organizations. But our most important effort has been restoring health and hope to people who believed those notions were unattainable. For more information, visit www.thecouncil-online.org.

About The Chicago School of Professional Psychology:
Founded in 1979, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is the nation's leading nonprofit graduate university exclusively dedicated to the applications of psychology and related behavioral sciences. TCS is an active member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology, which has recognized The Chicago School for its distinguished service and outstanding contributions to cultural diversity and advocacy. The Chicago School's community service initiatives resulted in recognition on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service to disadvantaged youth. For more information about The Chicago School, visit www.thechicagoschool.edu. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GradPsychology. Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thechicagoschool.

For more information contact Angela Owen: aowen@thechicagoschool.edu

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