Ecker's Crisis Stabilization Program helps bridge gap in access to behavioral health care

Ecker Center for Behavioral Health's Crisis Stabilization Program will be opening its doors to the public beginning March 21.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 21, community members are welcome to attend the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce at Ecker's main office, 1845 Grandstand Place in Elgin.

As a therapeutic, trauma-informed alternative to the emergency room, the Crisis Stabilization Program aims to prevent unnecessary emergency department visits and inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations by providing crisis intervention services to anyone in the community aged 18+ experiencing a behavioral health crisis, from suicidal ideation and trauma, to panic attacks, depression, grief and loss, substance use disorders, PTSD, and more.

The Crisis Stabilization Program space is warm and inviting, with large reclining chairs, calm blue walls, and cheerful art on display - an intentionally designed environment that feels comfortable and non-clinical in nature. Guests may stay for a maximum of 23 hours based on their individual level of care needed. Services may include brief counseling, safety planning, educational information, treatment planning, and referrals and linkage to additional services and support.

The Crisis Stabilization Program joins Ecker Center's expanding crisis care continuum, alongside their established Psychiatric Emergency Programs located in the emergency departments at Ascension St. Joseph and Advocate Sherman hospitals; a crisis residential program that provides short-term therapeutic support in a supervised environment; and a mobile crisis response team that provides intervention services throughout the community.

In partnership with the Elgin Police Department, a Collaborative Crisis Services Unit will connect individuals in the community with appropriate behavioral health services.

In Kane County's 2021 Community Health Assessment, 45% of respondents ranked mental health as the most pressing health issue they were facing and 12% of respondents reported challenges accessing mental health care services, citing cost and accessibility as the biggest barriers to receiving care.

Daisy Silva, manager of the Crisis Stabilization and Crisis Residential Programs and a passionate advocate for improving access to mental health care, states, "As a walk-in service, Ecker's Crisis Stabilization Program will be able to provide immediate support to all members of the community without a pre-determined appointment. We're thrilled that this program will be available to anyone in need regardless of ability to pay - allowing our community to seek the help they need, without worrying about how they're going to afford it."

Program staff are dedicated to helping guests reduce symptoms and provide continuity of care for continued support, while also providing tools and resources to empower self-advocacy and prevent a crisis from reoccurring.

Walk-ins are accepted, and no appointment or insurance is required.

Dr. Daphne Sandouka, Ecker Center for Behavioral Health CEO, stated, "We are absolutely thrilled about the opportunity to offer a Crisis Stabilization Program here at Ecker Center, which will serve as a critical resource in our community. We have worked diligently for the past few years to prepare for the launch of this program, and we are extremely grateful to those who supplied the financial support to make our dream come true!"

Ecker received financial support for their Crisis Stabilization Program from Elgin Township, the Hanover Township Mental Health Board, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Ecker Center has been a leading provider of behavioral health services in the community for over 60 years, offering an array of comprehensive services for children, adolescents, and adults.

In FY2022, Ecker served 4,494 individuals with behavioral health services and reached 4,632 individuals with prevention programming throughout the community.

Ecker Center for Behavioral Health's mission is to optimize the well-being of individuals and communities through the delivery of accessible, comprehensive, and quality behavioral health care which includes prevention, education, and intervention.

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