Project Abstract Summary
Pillars Community Health Behavioral Health Services Capacity
Pillars Community Health (PCH) has provided local physical and behavioral healthcare and social services for 100 years, serving individuals and families residing primarily in western Cook County, Illinois. SAMHSA funding will support behavioral health clinical services, with emphasis on addressing the needs of individuals with serious emotional disturbance (SED), serious mental illness (SMI) and co-occuring mental health and substance use disorders (COD). In addition, this project will expand capacity for school-based services and prevention for students, staff, and family members.
Our geographic area includes 28 municipalities which fall in whole, or in part in the Townships of Berwyn, Cicero, Lyons, Proviso, River Forest Riverside, Oak Park, and Stickney, Illinois. Our target population includes area residents with low-income, the uninsured or underinsured, members of racial or ethnic minorities and people experiencing homelessness. These individuals and families may experience financial, linguistic, or cultural barriers to accessing care and have been disproportionately affected by the physical, emotional, and economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic.
PCH’s target service area of Western Cook County has been identified as one of the 5 areas in Illinois with the greatest concentration of social vulnerability for health inequities and poor health outcomes (Illinois Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Transformation Data & Community Needs Report, January 2021). University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) research gathered for HFS focused on identification of communities with high rates of vulnerability and use of that data and community input to inform their healthcare transformation efforts. This research identified the prevalence of resource-intensive and outpatient treated disease groups which became the focus of their analysis for western Cook County: mood affective disorder (bipolar and depressive disorders), Mental and behavioral disorders due to substance use (particularly alcohol and opioid use), and ambulatory care sensitive conditions (hypertension, asthma/COPD, diabetes, heart disease).
Activities to increase access to services include telehealth infrastructure support, provision of outpatient services to clients diagnosed with, or at risk for, SMI, SED, or COD, utilizing a trauma informed care approach, providing clinical and recovery support services, as well as providing staff support to recognize the impact of the pandemic and promote self-care. Through this project, we expect to provide behavioral health services to over 400 unduplicated individuals in each grant year who are diagnosed with SMI, SED, or COD. In addition, we will expand school-based services and community outreach efforts and establish a Teen Center program model.