Mental health clinic for teens opening in St. Charles

 
 
Updated 8/6/2018 6:33 AM
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  • Ryanne Bright, sitting, and Dana Slowinski, founders of Family Recovery Centers, opened a location in St. Charles to help teens with depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other maladaptive behaviors. They also have locations in Lake Bluff, Hoffman Estates and Chicago.

      Ryanne Bright, sitting, and Dana Slowinski, founders of Family Recovery Centers, opened a location in St. Charles to help teens with depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other maladaptive behaviors. They also have locations in Lake Bluff, Hoffman Estates and Chicago. Rick West | Staff Photographer

A growing need for adolescent mental health treatment has prompted a suburban-based recovery center for teens and their families to expand to St. Charles.

Ryanne Bright and Dana Slowinski, founders of Family Recovery Centers, spent a year researching and developing an intensive outpatient program before opening their first clinic in Lake Bluff in 2009. Their goal was to create a well-rounded treatment modality to help boys and girls 12 to 19 with depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other maladaptive behaviors.

Family Recovery Centers has since opened two other facilities in Hoffman Estates and Chicago. Their fourth clinic opened Wednesday at 2075 Foxfield Drive, Suite 103, in St. Charles.

"We felt like the community is really focused on mental health, behavioral health ... and is involved in the growth and development of adolescents," said Slowinski, a St. Charles native. "We're excited to provide our services, along with other collaborators in the area."

After meeting 15 years ago in graduate school and working together in the field, Bright and Slowinski said they began to recognize a need for adolescent treatment that targets multiple types of mental illnesses or maladaptive behaviors -- such as self-harm or substance use -- at once.

Studies show roughly 38 percent of girls and 26 percent of boys 13 to 17 suffer from an anxiety disorder, according to the Family Recovery Centers, and the number of kids and teens hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or attempts more than doubled from 2008 to 2015.

Using a method called dialectical behavior therapy, Family Recovery Centers incorporates art therapy, relapse prevention, meditation and various types of group therapy into its treatment. The program is offered four nights per week, with family members participating in two of those sessions, Slowinski said. Separate sessions also are held for individual families.

"One of the big things we focus a lot on is family involvement," she said. "Parents are learning skills right along with their kids so we can look at the whole family dynamic."

Though several sessions are completed in a group setting, the program is "incredibly individualized" and requires each teen to first undergo an assessment, Bright said. If the program is unsuitable for their needs, clinicians will refer them to other resources in the area.

The program also has a team member on call 24/7 to assist adolescents who are on the cusp of engaging in substance abuse, self-injury or other crises, Slowinski said.

The St. Charles clinic has a medical director, a clinical director, a program manager and two primary counselors. Based on a needs analysis, it is expected to be similar in size to the Lake Bluff location -- the largest Family Resources Centers site, Bright said.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house are Sept. 26.

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