October Donor Spotlight – Community Memorial Foundation

Donor Spotlight – Community Memorial Foundation

Thresholds happily features Community Memorial Foundation (CMF) in our October Donor Spotlight.

cmf_logo-2010Established in 1995, CMF works to improve the health of people who live and work in the western suburbs of Chicago, seeking to transform the region into the healthiest in the country. CMF brings its mission and vision to reality by funding grants that improve healthcare access, expand health and human services, build capacity, and respond to the community’s needs.

Since its founding, Community Memorial Foundation has awarded $67 million to non-profits, including Thresholds.

This past July, CMF generously awarded $21,000 to Thresholds’ Emerge West Program, which expands critical behavioral health and support services to young adults in west suburban Cook and southeastern DuPage counties.  Emerge West is a program designed to help 18 – 26 year-olds with behavioral health challenges transition into adulthood and become participating members of the community. Emerge staff provide clients with trauma-focused dialectical behavior therapy, supported employment, medication management, and socializing activities. Emerge also engages in intensive outreach efforts, conducting education workshops and connecting with schools, hospitals, and mental health providers to ensure individuals who need our services are aware of and connected to them.

Thresholds thanks CMF for helping launch this new program. CMF’s generous support will improve the health and well-being of individuals with mental illness, giving them the resources needed for a hopeful recovery.

Thresholds Staff Member Caity-Shea Violette Named As Part of ADA 25 Advancing Leadership’s 2017 Fellows Class

Thresholds Staff Member Caity-Shea Violette Named As Part of ADA 25 Advancing Leadership’s 2017 Fellows Class

Caity-Shea VioletteThresholds Marketing and Communications Manager, Caity-Shea Violette, joins 18 competitively selected emerging leaders with disabilities to participate in ADA 25 Advancing Leadership‘s 2017 Fellows Class. ADA 25 Advancing Leadership, an initiative of The Chicago Community Trust, was formed to build “a network of leaders with disabilities who are deeply engaged in the civic life of the Chicago region and advancing in their careers – consistent with the promise of the ADA.”

Fellows will attend a Leadership Institute retreat in January and March of 2017, as well as seeking entry to a Civic Connections Project and joining a Members Network, with support provided by Chicago Community Trust, Exelon, BMO Harris, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.

“In ADA 25 Advancing Leadership’s second year, we are delighted to see the level of interest by applicants with disabilities and the commitment from the wider community to appoint our Members to boards, commissions and task forces,” Steve Solomon, Vice President of Corporate Relations, Exelon, said. “We welcome the 2017 Fellows to our network and know this diverse group holds great promise for the future of the Chicago region.”

In addition to her work at Thresholds, Caity-Shea is also a national award-winning playwright and actress whose work explores trauma, invisible disabilities, and gender-based violence.


Thresholds offers Blue Island a compassionate, community-based approach to substance use treatment and recovery

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Thresholds offers Blue Island a compassionate, community-based approach to substance use treatment and recovery

CHICAGO—Thresholds, Chicago’s largest and oldest provider of comprehensive mental health services, announces it will offer outpatient-based services for substance use treatment from their location in Blue Island, IL.

Thresholds’ first substance use treatment program aims to provide south suburban Cook County outpatient-based care needed for helping people achieve sustained recovery. Staff work closely with people who have alcohol and substance use concerns as well as their families. The program welcomes individuals who are questioning whether they have a problem with alcohol and/or drugs, as well as individuals who are seeking successfully step down from hospital or residential care, in order to maintain their recovery goals once they return home.

Thresholds Substance Use Treatment Program in Blue Island“Thresholds has a long history of providing person-centered, recovery-focused behavioral health services that help people to live independent and healthy lives. Our substance use treatment program is built with the same model,” says Tim Devitt, Vice President of Clinical Operations at Thresholds. “Asking for help for a substance use concern can be difficult. We understand that and stand ready to help people develop their individual pathways for recovery, with support from us and the people they want to include in their care.”

“As substance use, including alcohol and marijuana, continues to rise in our communities, Thresholds is committed to meeting the increased need for services in the greater Chicagoland area,” says Gabriela Zapata-Alma, Substance Use Treatment Program Director. “Our program is designed to be particularly sensitive to each individuals’ goals and history. We respect each person as the expert on their life, and seek to partner with and empower them in their recovery.

Thresholds provides Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient Services that are person-centered, trauma-informed, holistic, and supported by strong research evidence. Group and individual counseling services, including therapy, case management, family and couples counseling, and medication assisted treatment to address drug and alcohol cravings and withdrawal, are offered through the program. The length of treatment and services provided are based on individual needs and preferences. Integrated treatment is available for those who seek both mental health and substance use support. Currently, the program is only offered to adults and will soon be open to adolescents.

Desired outcomes include overall improvements in health and recovery from substance use, such as reduction in usage of substances, mental health stabilization, improvements in family and social relationships, and increased involvement in employment, educational pursuits, and contributions to the community. Thresholds plans to next expand to additional locations in the north suburbs, west suburbs, and north Chicago, as well as working with the Chicago Police Department to offer treatment rather than arrest to persons with substance use concerns.

Thresholds is a nationally recognized industry leader in mental health, housing and employment services for persons with mental illnesses. For many years, Thresholds has provided the Evidence-Based Practice of Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment, which provides services to persons with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

Contact: Emily Moen,, 773-572-5172


Senator Dick Durbin Blue Island Thresholds Substance Use VisitIn July 2016, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin paid a visit to Thresholds location in Blue Island.


Thresholds Home Health Hope

It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week!

Mental Illness Awareness Week at Thresholds

It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week!

The first week of October is dedicated to raising awareness of mental illnesses. Thresholds is proud to participate, alongside NAMI and other organizations nationwide.

We hope you’ll help us spread awareness, educate the public, and advocate for our clients and all individuals experiencing mental illnesses. Listed below are a couple of ways that you can take an active role in Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Thresholds’ social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) will feature posts about mental health. Like, share, comment, retweet, repost, etc. to educate and raise awareness.

Our friends at NAMI want to replace stigma with hope. Visit their website to take their pledge. Share it on social media and encourage others to do the same.

LIMELIGHT is only a few weeks away! Thresholds stands up to stigma in style at LIMELIGHT, our annual concert event dedicated to illuminating the need for mental health awareness and eliminating the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. It will be an unforgettable evening that inspires guests with powerful messaging and delights with delicious food and an incredible performance by singer-songwriter and seven-time Grammy nominee Joan Osborne!  

Invite your friends and family to attend the event, enter into the raffle, or make a donation. This is a fun and exciting night to support Thresholds’ efforts for mental health.

Limelight 2016 presented by Associated Bank

September Donor Spotlight – Peoples Gas

Donor Spotlight – Peoples Gas

Thresholds is proud to feature Peoples Gas for September’s Donor Spotlight.

Peoples Gas LogoFormed in 1850, Peoples Gas was the first utility in the city of Chicago, lighting the city streets with gas lamps. After more than 165 years, they serve more than 800,000 customers within 234 square miles in Chicago, employing approximately 2,000 people in the state of Illinois.

In addition to its proud corporate history, Peoples Gas is committed to investing in the communities it serves.  As a supporter of Thresholds for the past 40 years, Peoples Gas has given the organization more than $100,000, most recently supporting our Veterans Project.  Since launching in December 2010, the Veterans Project has emerged as the gold standard for community-based veteran programs.  Our team of mental health professionals – many of whom are veterans – provide a full suite of services including housing linkage, career advancement services, individual and group therapies, and substance abuse counseling.  This holistic approach gives veterans the supports needed for a successful, hopeful recovery.

We are extremely grateful to Peoples Gas for helping make our work possible and for helping our members reach their full potential.  Their consistent generosity has undoubtedly impacted the lives of thousands of individuals struggling with mental illness.

August Donor Spotlight – Michael Reese Health Trust

August Donor Spotlight – Michael Reese Health Trust

This month we are pleased to feature the Michael Reese Health Trust in our Donor Spotlight.

MRHT Logo Since its founding in 1995, The Michael Reese Health Trust has been an active player in improving the health and well-being of the Chicago metro-area’s most vulnerable populations. Their ability to bring stakeholders together for collaborative problem-solving and effective program development makes them a true catalyst for change.

For over 18 years, the Michael Reese Health Trust has provided more than $500,000 in financial support to Thresholds and the clients we serve. Their generosity includes support for our behavioral health advocacy work, which continues to position Thresholds as a thought-leader on the policies impacting those with mental illnesses. Most recently, the Michael Reese Health Trust awarded Thresholds a core grant that will help launch a call center and 24/7 crisis response system. Once established, this resource will give our clients quicker access to services and enable our staff to better coordinate communication with providers, payers, and partners.

Thresholds is grateful to the Michael Reese Health Trust for their long-standing support and the many ways they have helped our clients on their path to recovery.

July Donor Spotlight – Northern Trust

July Donor Spotlight – Northern Trust

NorthernTrust_Logo_CenterStack_RGB_greenThresholds is proud to feature Northern Trust as July’s Donor Spotlight.

Since its founding as a Chicago-based bank over 125 years ago, Northern Trust has grown into one of the world’s most trusted financial services companies, with more than 20 international locations and 16,500 employees globally. By sticking to its core principles of service, expertise, and integrity, Northern Trust has survived and thrived during the Great Depression, two world wars, and the 2008 financial crisis.

Northern Trust is committed to the communities it serves and has established a reputation for being a leader in corporate and social responsibility. As a valued partner of Thresholds for over 35 years, Northern Trust has contributed more than $400,000 toward a variety of areas including event sponsorship and, most recently, the Homeless Families Program. The Homeless Families Program is designed to help members who have a mental illness forge a path towards a more stable family life. The program works to address each family’s immediate mental health and social service needs by linking them to an array of resources including family-friendly affordable housing, child care, and child therapy.

Thresholds is grateful for Northern Trust’s continued generosity and their commitment to those struggling with mental illnesses.

Illinois Approves Medicaid Rate Add-On to Preserve Psychiatry Services

The move will bring $26 million for much-needed psychiatry in the midst of a budget impasse


Chicago, IL – Yesterday, the Rauner Administration announced a solution to the elimination of a state grant (the Psychiatric Leadership Grant) that paid for much-needed psychiatry services for people across Illinois living with significant mental health conditions. The grant, which was funded only with state general revenue funds, is being converted to Medicaid through an add-on payment to leverage federal dollars, preserving $26 million for the treatment of mental illnesses.

The grant was originally put in place to supplement below-cost reimbursement rates for psychiatry services in Illinois – currently, Medicaid reimbursement for psychiatry pays less than 50 percent of the cost of the services. The grant was eliminated in the Governor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016 and many mental health providers were forced to simply end their psychiatric services, meaning thousands of Illinoisans with serious mental illnesses are going without this critical component of treatment. Other providers continued the services last year but at great cost – Thresholds lost $90 for every hour of psychiatry we provided throughout the past year.

“Psychiatry is foundational to community-based treatment for serious mental illnesses,” says Mark Ishaug, Thresholds CEO. “This is a smart move for our state that will not only provide relief for thousands of persons with mental illnesses who face enormous challenges in accessing psychiatry, but also save money for taxpayers. High-quality mental health treatment is far less expensive and far better for health than institutionalization in places like jail and nursing homes. The next step forward is passing a budget with strong funding for community mental health treatment.”

Thresholds is grateful to our trade association, IARF, for leading this effort over the past year with us. We applaud Governor Rauner, the Illinois Division of Mental Health, and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Service for approving a measure that will bolster the ability of community-based mental health agencies to bring desperately-needed psychiatric services to our clients.

Thresholds Statement on Illinois Stop-Gap Funding Bill

July 1, 2016


Chicago, IL – Yesterday, the Illinois General Assembly passed an overwhelmingly bipartisan stop-gap spending bill and Governor Rauner has signed it into law. Among many items, the bill provides more than $670 million in stop-gap funding for human services for FY16 and for half of FY17. The bill appropriates approximately 60% of 18 months of funding for human services. Details about how this spending will happen are still being worked out and it is unclear whether human service providers will be paid in full for their FY16 contracts. While the bill provides a bit of desperately needed relief for social services that are being decimated across the state in the wake of a year-long budget impasse, it is neither a long-term solution nor a full fiscal year of spending authority supported by sufficient revenue.

Thresholds is encouraged that the General Assembly and the Governor have begun the process of working together to begin to address the damage done to our state in the past year, resulting in this stop-gap measure. It is critical that they continue to set politics aside and work together to move a fully funded FY16 and FY17 budget forward as soon as possible.

But this bill is not enough. Only a fully-funded budget for FY16 and FY17 and payment for services already rendered can solve our state’s ongoing crisis. Human services providers, including Thresholds, are still borrowing money and making impossible choices in order to continue to provide services. Irreparable damage has already been done to the human services sector in Illinois, leaving thousands of our most vulnerable citizens without the services they need to thrive, and hundreds of jobs lost that will be nearly impossible to bring back.

Thresholds is providing services under contracts without being paid in full – services that help our clients manage their mental illnesses and remain in their communities, and keep them out of expensive institutions that impede recovery and cost Illinois taxpayers far more than the cost of treatment. If Thresholds had to cut our services, thousands of people with mental illnesses would instead end up in jails, hospitals, and nursing homes.

Governor Rauner and the General Assembly need to pass a fully-funded budget for both fiscal years as soon as possible, as is their primary responsibility to the people of Illinois. They are further weakening our human services safety net, and even with the stop-gap bill, providers are at continued risk of further service reductions and closure.

Press Contact: Emily Moen, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, 773-572-5172

June Donor Spotlight – Healthcare Foundation of Highland Park

June Donor Spotlight – Healthcare Foundation of Highland Park

Healthcare Foundation of Highland ParkFor the June edition of Donor Spotlight, we are featuring the Healthcare Foundation of Highland Park, a key funder of Thresholds’ North Suburbs Program and supporter of New Foundation Center (NFC), a community-based mental health organization in the North Shore, which merged with Thresholds in April 2016.

The Healthcare Foundation of Highland Park was established in 2000 to support the healthcare mission of NorthShore Highland Park Hospital (formerly Highland Park Hospital). The Foundation is not affiliated with the hospital, but it does support community-based healthcare programs and services in the area served by the hospital, as well as a geographic area bounded by the Chicago city limits to the south and the Wisconsin border to the north. This year, the Foundation provided more than $6 million to 57 charitable organizations that provide health and health-related services in the geographic area.

The Healthcare Foundation has given over $10,000 to NFC over the last two years in support of permanent supportive housing programming. The Healthcare Foundation has been supporting Thresholds’ North Suburbs Program since 2010, totaling $150,000. Their generous grants support the program’s Client Assistance Fund, which helps cover important items and activities that our clients often cannot afford to pay for. These items include: medication co-payments, dental services, prescription eyewear, security deposits, household and personal items, winter clothing, interview clothing, tuition costs, and more. Thresholds and NFC greatly appreciate the Healthcare Foundation’s incredible support for our clients on their path to recovery.