Innovation needed to meet mental health crisis

A message from Rosecrance President and CEO Dave Gomel, Ph.D.

Recently, over 100 key organizations asked for a federal state of emergency to address children’s mental health. This included thought leaders like the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Kennedy Forum, and state chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

I wholeheartedly agree that we’re in a mental health crisis, and it’s not just youth. It’s all of us. We’ve been through one of the most traumatic events in generations, and now we’re facing many other pressures. While some showed resilience, we’re still hurting in many ways.

Unfortunately, too many people can’t access timely help because there aren’t enough treatment resources to meet the need. That is why Rosecrance and other behavioral health organizations are innovating at the community level and encouraging legislative action.

Rosecrance believes in championing hope for the entire community, regardless of barriers to access. We are one of the largest crisis service providers in Illinois, and we made a greater commitment to northern and central Illinois by expanding services through federal grants. Understanding that geography can be a factor, we’ve opened outpatient centers across northern Illinois and Chicago, with plans to continue.

We also value services for youth. Our teams are in schools and communities providing a wide range of resources to give youth and their families extra support to strengthen the entire family unit. As a result, adolescents are much more likely to receive help.

There is more work to be done, though. We need continued innovation in workforce development, more equitable mental health coverage in insurance plans, and enhanced efforts to reach disadvantaged populations. And, we need community members to continue their good work pushing back on the stigma of mental illness through healthy conversations.

Together, we will champion hope for those who need it.