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posted: 4/5/2014 8:00 AM

Mental health services to relocate to Libertyville

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The Lake County Health Department will relocate and expand its services from rented space in Round Lake Park to its own facility near Libertyville.

The Outpatient Mental Health Adult Services program, which has operated in leased space at the Avon Township building, 423 E. Washington St. in Round Lake Park, will close Wednesday, April 10. Operations will resume April 15 at a larger, renovated building at 18698 Peterson Road.

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Besides mental health services, the health department plans some time this year to offer primary care services at the facility. That would involve physicals, checkups and general doctor visits, for example.

Tony Beltran, executive director of the department, said people with serious mental health issues die 20 to 25 years sooner than the general population due to physical problems such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

"The integration of primary care and behavioral health services at our Libertyville facility will address this health disparity. Coordination of care can save lives," Beltran said in a statement.

Ted Testa, director of behavioral health services for the health department, said the Libertyville location will be a showcase for a movement to treat patients holistically by bringing primary and mental health care under one roof.

The outpatient mental health program operates a second location at 3010 Grand Ave. in Waukegan. Primary care services were integrated there in 2010.

The program, which has operated in Round Lake Park for more than 20 years, consists of 15 staff members providing counseling and psychiatric medication management for 1,200 patients. Those staff members will move to the Libertyville location, and three more people eventually will be hired. The facility recorded 8,607 patient visits in 2013.

"The Round Lake Park site has reached its capacity. We're full," said Leslie Piotrowski, health department spokeswoman. "We wouldn't be able to integrate primary care services at that site."

Patients also will have access to nutrition information, tobacco cessation services and information about how to apply for medical benefits.

The new facility in Libertyville has 5,000 square feet compared to the current 2,300-square-foot space.

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