County Celebrates New Behavioral Health Suite

The Will County Health Department and Community Health Center kicked off national Behavioral Health Awareness Month by hosting a grand opening event for a new behavioral health suite at the Will County Community Health Center (WCCHC) in Joliet on May 1.

The grand opening event featured a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the new behavioral health suite at the Community Health Center. The event was attended by Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and by members of the Will County Board, Will County Board of Health and the Governing Council of the Community Health Center.

“Every year during May, we recognize national Mental Health Awareness Month,” said Will County Health Department Executive Director Elizabeth Bilotta in a press release.

“Mental health illness has become a serious issue nationally, regionally, and locally. Our Community Health Center began providing behavioral health services in 2015 our staff has treated patients for a total of over 47,000 behavioral health appointments.”

Using a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the WCCHC was able to convert an old medical records storage area into a centralized behavioral health suite. The medical records storage area had become obsolete due to transitioning old paper records into digital records.

“The improvements made here are essential to our community’s health and quality of life,” said U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood at the grand opening.

“Access to behavioral health services and resources are much needed now more than ever, especially in our underserved communities. That’s why I am so pleased to see the behavioral health suite renovation was federally funded through the American Rescue Plan.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year with 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience a serious mental Illness. Children are also being treated for more mental illnesses, with 1 in 6 U.S. youth ages 6-17 experiencing a mental health disorder each year.

“While the pandemic showed us how much we need public health care, what we’ve seen after is the importance of behavioral health care in our communities,” Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant stated at the grand opening.

“Making this a top priority for Will County has been first and foremost on our minds. I look forward to working with our health department to support their efforts to provide quality behavioral health care services throughout the county.”

The WCCHC’s Behavioral Health Services include adult and child psychiatric medication management services, individual short-term therapy, group therapy sessions, a Behavioral Health Injection Clinic, and a Medication-Assisted Treatment Program (MAT).

For more information on behavioral health services offered at the WCCHC and at the Will County Health Department, please visit www.willcountyhealth.org.

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