Local resources available for those struggling with mental illness

Staff report

This week, through Saturday, is National Suicide Prevention Week, and the month of September is National Suicide Prevention Month. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, from 1999 to 2016, suicide increased across the nation. In Illinois, it increased 22.8% across that 17-year period. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2017 suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., resulting in the loss of over 47,000 people. For those between the ages of 10 and 34, it was the second leading cause of death behind unintentional injury. The Illinois Department of Health reports that approximately 90% of those who die by suicide have at least one mental illness. However, suicide is preventable, and there is hope for those who are suffering. There are numerous mental health resources, including free ones, that exist for people of all ages across Will and Grundy Counties. These services offer safe places for those who are struggling with mental health issues to talk about how they are feeling in a judgement-free environment. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Will and Grundy Counties is one organization that provides support to both those with mental illness as well as their families. NAMI holds free support groups for people facing mental illnesses. A group meeting is held at 6 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month, and another is on the second and fourth Monday, at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet. A group also meets on the fourth Sunday of each month at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital at 6 p.m. The organization supports the families of those who are affected by mental illness as well. A support group is also offered for family members of people experiencing mental illness at 6 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, another at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday at Morris Hospital and at 6 p.m. on the fourth Sunday at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital. Additional information about the support groups and the other services NAMI offers can be found at www.NamiWillGrundy.org. County programs for Will and Grundy are available that serve low-income residents. The Will County Health Department offers outpatient mental health programs for children ages 3 to 17 as well as adults age 18 and older. It offers a comphrensive assessment, individualized person-centered plan, individual and group counseling, crisis intervention services and more. The cost can determined on a sliding fee scale. More information can be found at www.WillCountyHealth.org. The intake office can be contacted at 815-727-8521. Offices are in Joliet at 501 Ella Avenue, as well as in Monee at 5601 Monee-Manhattan Road in Monee and 323 Quadrangle Drive in Bolingbrook. The Grundy County Health Department located at the Grundy County Administration Building at 1320 Union St. in Morris provides a range of services for Grundy County residents ages seven and older. Services available include, but are not limited to, counseling, mental health or substance abuse evaluations, individual and group therapy and much more. The cost can be determined on a a sliding scale, and there is no charge for counseling for seniors 60 or older, caregivers and grandparents raising children. For general information, visit www.GrundyHealth.com or call 815-941-3138. To immediately speak with a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area at any time, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255. Resources are also available in Spanish and for those who are deaf or hard of hearing at www.SuicidePreventionLifeline.org. In local schools, there are services available for students as well. Students should speak to their guidance counselors who can help connect them with resources that will fit their needs. There are many more services available in surrounding cities, such as The Sykes Group LTD in Joliet, GROW in Illinois — located in Champaign, but with groups meeting in Morris, Kankakee and Bourbonnais — and AMT Counseling Management Services in Joliet. For a comphrensive list of services available, visit the Wilmington Public Library’s comphrensive guide at www.WilmingtonLibrary.org/CommunityDirectory.pdf.