Addressing Behavioral Health

Behavioral Health

The Illinois Department of Human Services conducts the “Illinois Youth Survey”. Results from 2018 demonstrate the following eye-opening results:

  • Over 300 students (14%) reported seriously considering suicide
  • Over 1,000 students surveyed (roughly 1/3) reported feeling significant sadness or depression every day for 2 or more weeks, that they stopped doing normal activities
  • Over 400 youth received mental health services
  • 150 teenagers were hospitalized last year for a mental health issue

Those that must be hospitalized travel to neighboring communities because we don’t have the facilities locally in Bloomington-Normal. We hope to mitigate these issues by developing the Adolescent Outpatient Center.

Teens considering suicide chart

“Coping During COVID” Mental Health Series

In December 2020, the United Way COVID Community Taskforce hosted a three-part Town Hall-style series: “Coping During COVID”.

Based on feedback from community leaders and organizations, the mental health concerns among our youth, students, and families are both concerning and growing. That’s why we brought together community resources in this free series of video calls with local experts to have crucial conversations and take coordinated action for the well-being of us all.

Watch the replays below.

• Session 1: What’s going on for our youth and families?
• Session 2: Resources and solutions for youth and students.
• Session 3: Resources and solutions for adults, parents, and caregivers

The Adolescent Outpatient Center

As discussed, those that are hospitalized are transported to other communities, but when their hospitalization is complete, and they return, McLean County has a gap in services for these young people.

The Adolescent Outpatient Center provides an intermediate step in bridging this gap.  While hospitalization is still not a reality in Bloomington-Normal, upon exiting the hospital, this service would create a more streamlined transition back into our community and schools.

The Adolescent Outpatient Center would:

  • Coordinate services across providers giving coordinating support for continuity of care
  • Serve 10 to 20 at a time
    • Short-term duration of 7 to 14 days
    • 13 to 18-year-olds
    • Likely helping up to 200 youth per year
  • Connects with schools in McLean County proactively
    • Previously, little warning or support was provided during these transitions
    • Coordinated efforts between this service and the school districts

United Way McLean County will primarily work with the county government and local service providers to offer direction and support to build the infrastructure and programs to change the face of adolescent mental health in Bloomington-Normal.

For Behavioral Health, the current community collaborator includes:

McLean County Health Department