Outreach: Empowering people through mental health services

February 20, 2023 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Funding from Edward-Elmhurst Health (EEH) has enabled a local community service organization to launch a new and much-needed behavioral health clinic in York Township.

The clinic is being funded through EEH’s Community Investment Fund (CIF). In July 2022, EEH awarded $3,994,000 to 14 organizations across Cook, DuPage and Will Counties to advance health equity and support local economic growth.

Outreach was founded in 1971 with the mission of restoring hope and providing opportunities for people to reach their fullest potential.

“Our mission is to lift and empower people as we walk alongside them,” said Vanessa Roth, Chief Operating Officer of Outreach. 

Outreach is a community-based organization that serves DuPage County through centers in five neighborhoods.

“Our goal is to move into communities struggling to reach their potential and provide the support they need to stabilize and thrive,” said Roth. “These neighborhoods lack access to services, so we bring the services to them.” 

The organization provides youth development services through after-school and summer school programming, family stabilization services, and counseling and mental health services through certified behavioral health clinics that can collect Medicaid payments for services to people with modest incomes. The organization also leverages community partnerships to bring additional services into the communities. 

The CIF grant funded the launch of a fourth community-based mental health clinic that opened in York Township on February 1, 2023. Outreach has a neighborhood resource center in York, but did not have an associated counseling center.

“Our model is to provide as many comprehensive services as we can so that people can get their services in their neighborhood,” said Roth. 

In addition to serving the community and helping people get off waiting lists for mental health services, Roth said the clinic will serve other healthcare providers like EEH who see people for mental health services in the emergency room.

“It's hopefully going to grow and be a service to the broad community – not just the folks we serve, but the people we partner with,” she said.  

The funding enabled Outreach to hire a case manager, therapist and office manager for the counseling center. Roth explained that the grant served as the startup funds needed to open the center. The clinic’s ability to collect Medicaid payments means it will eventually be able to support itself. 

“I'd love to see our clinic grow and help the neighborhood resource center grow as well,” said Roth. “It's a real benefit to the community.”
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