Children’s Mental Health Awareness….make it a priority!

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, one in five children experiences a mental health condition and 50% of mental health conditions start by age 14 and 75% by age 24.  When we talk about Mental Health Awareness, we must not forget our children.  Statistically, only 50% of our youth receive the mental health treatment they need. It is important for parents and educators to watch for the warning signs and seek assistance if they have concerns.

Why it is important?

Obviously, the most important reason is that we all want our children to be happy and healthy. However, did you realize that 50% of teenagers with mental health conditions drop out of high school? Youth with mental health conditions are more likely to find themselves in the juvenile justice system. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in youth age 15-24 and 90% of youth who die by suicide have a mental health condition and a high percentage of high school students have thought about suicide. These are all important reasons to stay connected with your children and if concerned, seek help.

So what are the warning signs?

  •  Feeling sad, crying, or withdrawn for more than 2 weeks
  • Severe out of control behavior, taking unnecessary risk or behaviors that can cause harm to self or others
  • Sudden overwhelming fear for no apparent reason, sometimes with racing heart beat, physical discomfort or fast breathing
  • No eating, throwing up or using laxatives to lose weight significant weight loss or weight gain.
  • Severe mood swings that cause problems in the family and with relationships with peers and or teachers
  • Repeated use of drugs or alcohol
  • Drastic changes in behavior, personality or sleeping habits
  • Extreme difficulty concentrating or sitting still that puts a person in physical danger or causes school failure
  • Intense worries or fears or bad dreams that get in the way of daily activities like hanging out with friends or going to classes.

Suicide Warning Signs

  • Talking about feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, being a burden to others, feelings trapped or having no reason to live
  • Having no motivation or losing interest in activities once enjoyed. Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Sudden change in personality or behaviors
  • Giving away possessions, behaving recklessly
  • Talking about death or not being here tomorrow, looking for ways to kill oneself such as searching online or buying a gun.

What to do if you see any of these warning signs?

  •  Talk with your pediatrician or primary care physician
  • Consider an evaluation from a mental health professional

Children with mental health conditions can succeed and live happy fulfilling lives with the right services and supports. Getting screened, staying informed and seeking treatment when needed is the first step.

Please don’t wait, if you are concerned, just do it!

Don’t hesitate….Choose a treatment option that is best for you !!

Today, there are a variety of treatment options available for addressing mental health symptoms.  Choosing the right options is based on your needs, severity of symptoms, and your personal preferences. The first step to recovery is making the choice to get informed and seek the treatment that suits you best.  Let’s take a look at the options.

Psychotherapy & Counseling is the most commonly discussed treatment option.  During therapy individuals explore their thoughts, feelings and behaviors and search for ways to improve their quality of life. There are several types of therapy including cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and traditional supportive counseling and skills training.

Medication can be an effective method of helping to manage symptoms and when combined with therapy can increase progress made towards recovery goals.  Sometimes, once therapy goals are reached; the individual continues on a maintenance dose of medication and no longer will be actively involved in therapy.  Medication is not a cure, but it really helps!

Case Management is another service that can be helpful.  Sometimes there is a need to coordinate care, access resources and build natural supports in the recovery process. A case manager can help you find and obtain the resources you need.

Hospitalization is an option when symptoms become severe and there is a need for close monitoring, more accurate diagnostics and/or to adjust medications.  Hospitalization stays are not usually long, but provide the individual with a safe place to stabilize when their symptoms worsen.

Support Groups can be very helpful as they offer the individual an opportunity to meet people who have had similar experiences. Together, they can work together and support each other in their recovery process.

Recovery Plans or Self Help Plans are helpful tools in the recovery process. The individual develops plans for how to promote wellness, avoid triggers, pay attention to warning signs, and when to seek help.  These plans may involve natural supports like friends and family who can help the individual work the plan and avoid slipping into old habits that might increase symptoms.

Peer Support can be a very valuable resource.  Having someone to talk to and share your joys and frustrations is important for everyone.  When you are struggling with mental health symptoms, it can be very helpful to feel the support of people who care about you and can validate your feelings because of your shared experiences.

Every person is different and deciding on the right treatment approach is based on your individual characteristics and circumstances. Some people may utilize all of the options available while others may only use one or two. It’s a matter of personal choice.  The most important choice is to stay informed and seek the treatment that works for you.  Take care of yourself !!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

Click the image to visit the NAMI site

We want to share with you some things going on this month as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.  Since 1949, the United States has observed Mental Health Awareness in May. Over the years, organizations have developed annual themes and events to help bring awareness to mental health conditions, treatments, and resources available. This year, the theme is #B4Stage4.The intent is to bring attention to the need for early detection and treatment of mental health conditions. Currently, many individuals with mental health symptoms may not seek or receive the treatment for nearly 10 years after the initial symptoms. Can you imagine if you waited 10 years to receive treatment for a tooth ache, a broken leg, or cancer? That just doesn’t make sense and the same is true for mental health conditions. Today, there are many treatment options available to address mental heath conditions for youth, adults, and the elderly.  Recovery is now an expectation in the mental health field and early detection and treatment are key to achieving recovery. It’s time that we all encourage our friends and loved ones to seek treatment early so they can get better and enjoy the next 10 years.

At Locust Street Resource Center, we accept walk-ins and offer same day appointments.  If you or a loved one is in need of immediate assistance all you need to do is ask! Services available upon request include crisis services and initial assessments.  We are here to help and we don’t want you to wait 10 years to feel better.  So, please call 217-854-3166 or walk in at our main office at 320 S. Locust Street, Carlinville, IL 62626

Please enjoy the video provided by Mental Health America as part of this year’s awareness campaign. More Mental Health Awareness Information in our next blog….see you soon!

So What Else Do We Do?


Locust Street is more than a mental health agency.  We have several other programs that provide valuable services to our communities. 

Substance Abuse

Locust Street Resource Center is licensed with the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse to provide evaluations, early intervention and Level I Treatment for older youth and adults experiencing addiction to alcohol or other substances.  Our seasoned staff has over 30 years of addiction treatment experience providing both individual and group treatment.  Recovery from addiction is obtainable and our goal is to assist our individuals identify and reach their recovery goals.

 Developmentally Disabled

Living with one’s family or in the community is always preferred to living in an institution.  For individuals with a developmental disability, this program provides services to individuals residing in the family home or in a community residential setting with supports that will increase the likelihood of the individual continuing to reside in the community.  Our committed staff work with the individual and their family to develop a plan to increase independent living skills.  These new skills lead to improved self-esteem and a higher quality of life.  Our staff may visit individuals in their own home, day program or other community setting to provide service or support or advocacy and monitor their overall progress.

Adult Protective Services

The Adult Protective Services (APS) program is here to protect the elderly and the disabled from being abused, neglected, and exploited.  Trained agency staff serve as investigators when there is a report of abuse in Macoupin and Christian Counties. After an abuse report, our experienced staff meet with the alleged victim to a access their safety and service needs. Depending on the outcome of the assessment, staff may link individuals to services that can address an identified need and can stay involved with the individual for up to 1 year, providing education and support. To report abuse, call: 1-800-252-8966

 Caregiver Support Services

This program is designed to provide supportive services to caregivers in an effort to reduce the likelihood and frequency of elder abuse and to improve the quality of life for the care-receiver, as well as the caregiver.  The knowledgeable and caring staff in this program also work with a grandparent or other relative raising children if the grandparent or relative is over 55 years of age.  At its core, the Caregiver Support Program’s goal is to support the caregiver of a senior in a manner that validates their importance to the person receiving the care. Caregiver counseling focuses on assisting the caregiver in recognizing burnout, to provide educational resources about the care-receiver’s illness or disability, and to provide a supportive, non-judgmental and empathic listening ear surrounding the daily struggles of being a caregiver.

Come back and visit our blog in a few days……

May is Mental Health Month and we have great stuff to share!

Welcome to Locust Street Resource Center’s blog!

We hope to inform the community about the agency, current issues and trends in the field of behavioral health and highlight the many resources available to individuals in need of behavioral health services.

Locust Street Resource Center provides a variety of outpatient behavioral health services including mental health, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, adult protective services, and caregiver support services. Our agency is nationally accredited demonstrating that our programs and services meet the standards of excellence required by the Council on Accreditation. In addition, our programs comply with the rules and regulations established by the funding source and state and/or federal regulations. We employ appropriately credentialed professional level staff to provide services consistent with our mission. Our mission is to provide compassionate, professional and responsive services to our communities.

Let’s take a look at our largest program.

Outpatient Mental Health Services
We offer a comprehensive array of mental health services designed to meet the needs of our communities. We are funded to provide mental health services in Macoupin & Greene counties for adults and youth. Additionally, we serve high risk youth in Calhoun, Jersey, and Montgomery counties.

Therapy & Counseling Services
We provide traditional, office-based counseling services at both our Carlinville and Carrollton locations.  Our Masters-level, licensed therapists are skilled in solution-focused, evidence-based treatments and work with youth and families, adults and seniors.  Individual, couple and group treatments are available and evening appointments are offered for those who are unable to attend appointments during the day.

Psychiatric Clinic Services
Psychiatric services are available at both our Carlinville and Carrollton locations.  Our Board-Certified psychiatrists and advance practice nurse work with adults and youth/children providing new patient evaluations, medication assessment and monitoring, follow-up after hospitalization and education.  Our psychiatrists are part of a treatment team working with our nurses, counselors and care coordinators to ensure effective and coordinated care.

Crisis Care Services
Sometimes, you do not want to wait for help or you need support after the normal work day. To meet that need, the Locust Street Resource Center operates crisis services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. During our office hours, services are accessible in Macoupin and Greene Counties by calling 217-854-3166 or by walking in at 320 South Locust Street in Carlinville or at Boyd Hospital, 800 School Street in Carrollton. After hours services can be accessed by calling 217-854-3135 ext. 1. This number connects you to the Macoupin County Sheriff’s Department where a dispatcher will obtain your contact information and have a Community Support worker contact you.

Our Community Support staff are available to provide focused counseling, support, or linkage to other services. They are also available to meet with individuals face-to-face at a safe, neutral location to provide crisis intervention and assessment for psychiatric hospitalization.

SASS Services
The SASS program is designed to assist youth and their families with an array of services intended to reduce the need for a psychiatric hospital admission and to enhance stability with the family system, school and community. These services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The SASS program emphasizes symptom reduction, stabilization interventions, family involvement, empowerment and linkage to other services as needed. The youth and their family are involved throughout the treatment process to find solutions to everyday challenges such as parenting issues and household management issues, as well as building communication and problem-solving skills. Service intensity is tailored to the needs of each individual and may be provided at school, in the home or in a safe neutral site.

Individual Placement & Support (IPS)
Our IPS program has been nationally recognized for its excellence and currently holds the highest fidelity score in the state of Illinois!

Dartmouth College developed an effective and research-supported service method called Individual Placement & Support (IPS) to assist individuals living with mental illness find and maintain competitive employment. The Locust Street Research Center participated with Dartmouth and the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services in implementing that model at the agency. For all of us, working provides purpose and meaning and over the past several years our employment specialists have helped many enter the job market. We can assist helping write a resume, practice interviewing skills, problem solve obstacles to working (i.e. lack of transportation, legal history, etc.), provide transportation in the job search or in attending an interview and will stay involved after a job has been obtained to provide support during those first days and weeks of working. Services are initiated with a vocational assessment that addresses a person’s job preferences and goals so we work to find a job you want.

Recovery Care Services
Significant strides have been made in the treatment of mental illness. Now, recovery is not only possible, it is expected. The Locust Street Resource Center offers a number of programs and services to assist individuals living with mental illness identify and reach their recovery goals. Once goals are identified, a service plan is developed to reach those goals. Services may include case management/care coordination, psychosocial rehabilitation groups, representative payeeship, money management, symptom management or medication education and monitoring. All services are intended to develop skills to improve or maintain independent living and to increase one’s quality of life.

The Locust Street Resource Center operates a residential home for individuals recovering from mental illness. Our facilities provide a home-like, supportive setting where residents can stay while they work towards recovery and are able to return to independent living. Staff are on site whenever residents are present.