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  • Mental Health Monday Topic of the Week: Self Care

    What is Self-Care? Self-care is important to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. It means doing things to take care of our minds, bodies, and souls by engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. Doing so enhances our ability to live fully, vibrantly, and effectively. The practice of self-care also reminds both you and others that your needs are valid and a priority. Self-care is not selfish. You must fill your own cup before you can pour into others. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines self-care as: “The ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” The WHO asserts that self-care involves personal factors like empowerment, self-reliance, autonomy, self-efficacy, and personal responsibility. But self-care can also include factors from a communal standpoint, like community involvement, neighborhood participation, and cultural empowerment. Self-Care and Mental Health Ideally, we all engage in regular self-care in which we do the things that make us feel taken care of mentally, physically, and emotionally. But this doesn’t always happen, and we may need to stop and take the time to remind ourselves we are important, too. Self-care looks different for everyone, and it is important to find what you need and enjoy. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. In addition, although self-care is not a cure for mental illnesses, understanding what causes or triggers your mild symptoms and what coping techniques work for you can help manage your mental health. Types of Self-Care Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health. When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact. Self-care activities can range from physical activities, such as exercising and eating healthy, to mental activities such as reading a book or practicing mindfulness, to spiritual or social activities, such as praying or catching lunch with a friend. The important thing to remember about self-care is that it is about listening to what your mind and body need. Here are some tips to help you get started thinking about self-care: Get regular exercise. Just 30 minutes of walking every day can help boost your mood and improve your health. Small amounts of exercise add up, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do 30 minutes at one time. Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated. A balanced diet and plenty of water can improve your energy and focus throughout the day. Also, limit caffeinated beverages such as soft drinks or coffee. Make sleep a priority. Stick to a schedule, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Blue light from devices and screens can make it harder to fall asleep, so reduce blue light exposure from your phone or computer before bedtime. Try a relaxing activity. Explore relaxation or wellness programs or apps, which may incorporate meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises. Schedule regular times for these and other healthy activities you enjoy such as journaling. Set goals and priorities. Decide what must get done now and what can wait. Learn to say “no” to new tasks if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much. Try to be mindful of what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do. Practice gratitude. Remind yourself daily of things you are grateful for. Be specific. Write them down at night, or replay them in your mind. Focus on positivity. Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts. Stay connected. Reach out to your friends or family members who can provide emotional support and practical help. Research shows that self-care enhances your health, decisions, and day-to-day actions. Normalizing Daily Self-Care Find a daily self-care routine that works for you on good days and supports you on bad ones. To start a routine, consider a brief meditation in the morning or evening. You can use the following breathing guide as a starting point and make modifications as you go to fit your needs. Other simple self-care acts include journaling, spending time outside, connecting with loved ones, or just spending time unplugged and resting. For other ideas for healthy practices for your mind, body, surroundings, and relationships, see the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Wellness Toolkits. When to Seek Professional Help Seek professional help if you are experiencing severe or distressing symptoms that have lasted two weeks or more, such as: Difficulty sleeping Appetite changes that result in unwanted weight changes Struggling to get out of bed in the morning because of mood Difficulty concentrating Loss of interest in things you usually find enjoyable Inability to perform usual daily functions and responsibilities Don’t wait until your symptoms are overwhelming. Talk about your concerns with your primary care provider, who can refer you to a mental health specialist if needed. If you don’t know where to start, read the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider fact sheet. What to Do in a Crisis If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away or dial 911 in an emergency. You also can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are confidential. Contact social media outlets directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates, or dial 911 in an emergency. Learn more on the Lifeline website or the Crisis Text Line website. For additional information about suicide prevention, please see NIMH’s Suicide Prevention webpage. Resources & Downloads Creating a self-care plan - Download a copy of this factsheet and our TLC for beginners action template and fill it out to get your TLC started! Time to Share! What are some of your favorite ways to practice self-care? Let us know what helps you feel your best and your tips for others to try for themselves!

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  • Leadership Team | Ecker Center for Behavioral Health

    Meet Our Leadership Team Daphne Sandouka Ed.D, LCPC Chief Executive Officer Ramona Grauzinis MBA, SPHR Chief Human Resources Officer Victoria Gesinger LCPC, RDDP Chief Clinical Officer Ecker's leadership team is comprised of executives who care passionately about the behavioral health care industry as well as the clients they serve. Nisha Shah MS, CRC, LCPC Chief Mental Health Officer Deb Howe CCBHC Project Director Steve Lindahl LCSW, CADC Chief Financial Officer Alison Anderson RN-PMH-BC Psychiatry & Nursing Director Alison Anderson RN-BC Psychiatry & Nursing Director

  • Behavioral Health Services | Ecker Center

    Welcome to Ecker Center for Behavioral Health A safe, supportive, and empowering provider of behavioral health services and resources. We Believe There are many different pathways to recovery, and each individual should be empowered to determine his or her own way. Read About the Center We Offer A full range of behavioral health services, so we can help you every step of your recovery journey. Our Programs & Services

  • Programs & Services | Ecker Center for Behavioral Health

    We Are Here for You! As a trusted behavioral health organization committed to providing care in the community since 1955, we offer an array of comprehensive services for youth, adolescents, and adults. Treatment is carefully planned and customized for each person based on their individual needs and strengths. No matter what you are going through, help is available! IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A LIFE-THREATENING EMERGENCY, PLEASE DIAL 911 IMMEDIATELY! Otherwise, the following crisis intervention and stabilization services are available for individuals who are experiencing a psychiatric crisis. Psychiatric Emergency Program (PEP) Crisis Residential Program & Intervention Services Collaborative Crisis Service Unit (CCSU) Provides crisis intervention services for individuals (age 5+) who are experiencing a psychiatric crisis. ​ PEP Services are available 24/7 by phone or on a walk-in basis through the Emergency Department at Advocate Aurora Sherman Hospital located at 1425 N. Randall Road in Elgin, IL. ​ An appointment is not required; however, calling before arrival is recommended at (847) 888-2211. ​ All insurance is accepted; however, service will not be denied due to inability to pay. Provides short-term treatment and therapeutic support services for adults (18+) who are experiencing a psychiatric crisis and DO NOT require inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. ​ Services include psychiatric stabilization, medication evaluation, and group programming. To coordinate admission, contact the Crisis Residential Supervisor at (847) 695-0484 , Option 6. ​ To qualify, clients must have Medicaid or MCO (Managed Care Organization) insurance coverage. ​Partnership between Ecker Center and Elgin's Police Department and comprised of two EPD officers and three behavioral health professionals. ​ CCSU is responsible for responding to mental health-related crises in the community and conducting follow-up visits for individuals who could benefit from behavioral health services. ​ Primary areas of focus are mental and behavioral health, substance misuse, and homelessness issues. Crisis Services Crisis Stabilization Program (CSP) Mobile Crisis Response Services (MCR) Provides support for individuals (age 18+) who are experiencing a mental health crisis. ​ CSP Services are available 24/7 (effective March 21, 2023) by phone or on a walk-in basis at 1845 Grandstand Place, Elgin, IL 60123. ​ As a therapeutic, trauma-informed alternative to the Emergency Room, the Crisis Stabilization Program aims to prevent unnecessary emergency department visits and inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations by providing crisis intervention services to anyone in the community aged 18+ experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Walk-ins are accepted, and no appointment or insurance is required. ​ An appointment is not required; however, calling before arrival is recommended at (847) 695-0484, Ext. 2107. ​ Walk-ins are accepted and no appointment or insurance is required. Mobile Crisis Response (MCR) is a mobile intervention responding to the location of the individual seeking to: Achieve crisis symptom reduction & stabilization Establish support for the individual's caregivers when applicable Mitigate the crisis event ​ MCR activities are tailored to the needs of the individual and may include: Short-term intervention Crisis safety planning Brief counseling Consultation with other qualified providers to assist with the individual's specific crisis Referral & linkage to community services Facilitation of a safe transition to a higher level of care in the event the individual needs additional support MCR is provided by a team trained in crisis stablization techniques and team members with lived experiences. Crisis Services Contact Our Intake Department Calling Ecker's Intake Line is the first step to receive treatment at any of our locations. Our Intake & Assessment Team provides treatment recommendations and referrals to individuals who need mental health, substance use and/or gambling disorder services. Psychiatric & Mental Health Services Substance Use & Gambling Disorder Services Adolescent & Adult Ther apy Services Case Management Servi ces Community Support Team (CST) Services Fitness Restoration Services Long-Term Residential Treatment Programs Mental Health Juvenile Justice Program Psychiatric & Nursing Services PsychoSocial Rehabilitation (PSR) Program & Wellness Groups (WRAP) Adolescent & Adult Counseling Services Case Management & Recovery Support Groups DUI Evaluations & Risk Education Program Gambling Disorder Treatment Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Peer Recovery Support Programs Recovery Management Services Contact our Intake Department at: (847) 695-0484 Click here to learn more about the intake process Clinical services and treatment programs are available for individuals with mental health, substance use and/or gambling disorders. Contacting our Intake Department is the first step to receive the help you need. Clinical Services & Treatment Programs Intake Dept Psychiatric & Nursing Services Adolescent & Adult Therapy Services Adolescent & Adult Outpatient Counselin g Intensive Outpatient Program Our psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses provide client-centered psychiatric services for individuals (age 5+) . Our therapists provide solution-focused individual and group therapy services for individuals (age 5+) . Our clinicians provide individual, group, and family counseling services for individuals who misuse substances and/or are chemically dependent. Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) provides short-term stabilization services for adults with a Substance Use Disorder. Psychosocial Rehabilitation Groups Long-Term Residential Treatment Programs Medication Assisted Treatment Program Gambling Disorder Treatment Our Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) Program provides 20 hours of intensive life skills group work for adults receiving psychiatric care who need additional support and guidance. Our Long-Term Residential Treatment Programs provide on-site support, resources, and skill-building for adults who are unable to live independently due to their psychiatric needs or who need assistance transitioning to independent living situations. Our MAT Program is a comprehensive outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program that combines behavioral health counseling with medication management to reduce cravings and help individuals maintain long-term recovery. Our Gambling Disorder Treatment Program offers counseling and self-exclusion services for adults with a gambling disorder and includes an educational component that focuses on at-risk behaviors and the consequences of compulsive gambling. Clinica Services Treatment Programs Case Management Services Mental Health Juvenile Justice Program Case Management & Recovery Support Services DUI Evaluations & Risk Education Program Our Case Management Services help individuals create fulfilling lives with maximum independence by providing advocacy, support, and linkage to community resources. Program liaisons will provide treatment recommendations for youth who are involved with the juvenile justice system (or at risk of involvement) and who have experienced mental health issues and/or exposure to trauma. Recovery support services are designed to support individual recovery from a substance use disorder. Case management services are provided to assist clients with collateral issues that exist in their lives that may contribute to stress or in some way negatively impact their ability to participate in treatment. Comprehensive DUI evaluations are available for all levels and classifications of DUI, and individualized counseling and treatment services are available. ​ The DUI Risk Education Program is a 10-hour class that fulfills the education requirements for individuals evaluated at minimal, moderate or significant risk by a licensed DUI Evaluator. Prevention Education Intervention Adolescent Early Intervention Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs (ATOD) Prevention Overdose Prevention Training Community Support Teams Fitness Restoration Services Peer Recovery & Support Resources Recovery Management Services CST provides one on one intensive crisis case management services and crisis support for adults in the community. If an individual is deemed unfit to stand trial, this program provides fitness restoration services to juveniles and adults deemed to receive the service in an outpatient setting. Recovery support resources including smart recovery, NA, AA, are available for individuals in recovery. Recovery Cafe is for those who want to learn to begin their recovery journey. Recovery support services are designed to support individual recovery from a substance use disorder. Case management is a coordinated approach to the delivery of health and medical treatment linking patients with the right services for substance use disorder treatment. Prevention, Education & Intervention Services We believe that prevention, education and intervention services lead to healthier lives. We reach out to vulnerable individuals in the community to provide education and empower individuals of all ages to make healthy choices. Early Intervention Programs ATOD Prevention Programs for Youth & Families Overdose Reversal (Narcan) Training Our Early Intervention Services provide intervention sessions for adolescents in early stages of alcohol and drug use and experimentation. Parents are strongly encouraged to be involved with their child’s care. Our ATOD Prevention Services provide programming in schools and throughout the community to prevent underage drinking and illicit drug use, decrease risk factors, and increase protective measures in the community. Our Overdose Prevention Training provides opioid overdose education and Naloxone training for individuals who are at risk of overdosing on opioids and/or anyone who knows someone who is at risk. To schedule an assessment, contact our Renz Office Intake Dept at: ​ (847) 695-0484 , Option 7 To learn more about Prevention Services, contact our ATOD Prevention Coordinator at: ​ (847) 695-0484 , Ext. 3029 To schedule a training session, contact our Renz Office Intake Dept at: ​ ​ (847) 695-0484 , Option 7 HIV/STI Testing & Prevention DUI Evaluations & Services Our HIV Prevention Services provide surveillance-based services, testing services, support groups, and community outreach programs to HIV-positive individuals and those at-risk of HIV/STI transmission. Our Comprehensive DUI Services include DUI evaluations, Secretary of State hearing denial letter responses, treatment needs assessment waivers, treatment verification forms, risk education classes, early intervention services, treatment services, and continuing care services for DUI offenders age 16 and above. To inquire about testing or risk factors, contact our HIV/STI Prevention Coordinator at: ​ (847) 695-0484, Ext. 3107 To schedule an evaluation, contact us at: ​ ​ ​ (847) 695-0484 , Ext. 3013 Additional On-Site Services & Resources We welcome you to utilize all of the services we have available here at Ecker Center. In addition to counseling and therapy services, we offer Primary Care and Pharmacy services as well as many additional ways for the Ecker Community to stay connected. Onsite Services Resource On-Site Primary Care: VNA Health Care Services On-Site Pharmacy: Genoa Healthcare Pharmacy Primary care services are available for Ecker clients at at the Grandstand Office clinic. ​ Services include: Screenings Physicals Follow-up appointments Pharmacy services are available for Ecker clients. Services include: ​ Prescription refills for all medications Free delivery or curbside pickup Pills organized by date & time they are to be taken, making it easier for clients to stay on track with medications Prescription transfer assistance from other pharmacies Located at Ecker's Grandstand Office, 1845 Grandstand Place (2nd Floor), Elgin, IL 60123 Hours of operation: 2nd Wednesday of each month from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM. Located at Ecker's Grandstand Office, 1845 Grandstand Place (3rd Floor), Elgin, IL 60123 Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Closed for lunch from 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM. Ecker clients can schedule a primary care appointment by calling: (630) 892-4355, Ext. 8654 For more information, contact Katelyn at (224) 276-7236 Fax: (847) 888-0640 NAMI Drop-In Center PSR Wellness Center NAMI Drop-In Center services are provided to individuals, age 18 and older, who are living with mental illness. Enjoy the company of people who understand, have a free cup of coffee and a snack. Enjoy art activities, puzzles, games, book discussion, needlework, music, fellowship, and fun! ​ Groups are offered Tuesdays and Fridays, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. ​ Registration is required. Anyone from the community is welcome to participate. Masks are required. ​ The Drop-In Center is held in the Wellness Center (3rd Floor) at Ecker's Grandstand Office. The Wellness Center is a PSR service that gives clients an opportunity to socialize, build coping skills, and learn life skills in a group setting. Clients select the activities they would like to do, from games and crafts to mental health discussions. ​ Groups are offered Monday through Friday, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM. ​ Registration is required. Participation is open to Ecker clients only. Masks are required. ​ The Wellness Center is located on the 3rd Floor of Ecker's Grandstand Office. For more information, contact Alexis at: (847) 410-9719 For more information, contact Kelly at: (847) 695-0484, Ext. 2038

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