Illinois Launches New Mental Health Programs

Chicago, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) today announced three new mental health programs designed to provide additional support for Illinois residents. These new
resources will be provided by community organizations through the Living Room Program (LRP), Transitional Living Centers (TLCs), and the Transitional Community Care and Support Programs (TCCS) throughout the state.

“We are excited to strengthen the array of transitional services funded through the Division of Mental Health,” said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. “The purpose of this initiative is to provide additional support to individuals who might otherwise return to higher levels of mental health
care.”

To achieve successful transition of individuals leaving the IDHS State Operated Psychiatric Hospitals (SOPH), IDHS is contracting with community mental health centers and nontraditional service providers to develop capacity and to deliver clinical services and nontraditional supports. The initiatives include:

Living Room Program (LRP)
The LRP is for those in need of a crisis respite program with services and supports designed to proactively divert crises and break the cycle of psychiatric hospitalization. The LRP provides a safe, inviting, home-like atmosphere where individuals can calmly process a crisis event, as well
as learn and apply wellness strategies to prevent future crisis events. The LRP is staffed by Recovery Support Specialists. Individuals seeking services at LRPs are screened for safety by Qualified Mental Health Professionals upon entry and exit. Individuals experiencing psychiatric
crises may self-refer or may be referred by police, fire, emergency departments, or other organizations with which an individual experiencing such a crisis may come into contact.

Transitional Living Centers (TLCs)
TLCs are a housing resource for individuals who have mental illnesses and who are in need of an immediate place to stay while they work with a Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) to find permanent housing. Priority is given to individuals who are ready for discharge from an
SOPH, but need housing. This is not residential treatment, but truly housing, with services and supports being provided through traditional CMHC avenues.

Transitional Community Care and Support Programs (TCCS)
Individuals eligible for TCCS are those who are currently in an SOPH and preparing to be discharged. The hallmark of the program is the development of engagement specialists who work in recovery support specialist roles within CMHCs and who will be coming to SOPHs for face-to-face engagement with individuals while they are hospitalized. This will facilitate linkage and establish a trusting relationship with a provider of community-based services for SOPH patients during their inpatient stay. The TCCS will include funding for non-traditional supports, such as cell phones, food, clothing, transportation, and other resources that are necessary for individuals to succeed as they transition to communities. In addition, the TCCS agencies will be providing clinical consultation to the SOPH treatment team during treatment and discharge planning to ensure that treatment needs are anticipated and addressed prior to discharge.

By Margo Pelak

Margo Pelak is founder and managing editor of the Local Newsreader, which covers hyper-local news in Hawthorn Woods, Lake Zurich and Mundelein. She resides in Hawthorn Woods with her husband Dennis and two wild beasts named Ladybug and Juney P.

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