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.


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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.

Thresholds Statement on Continuing Illinois Budget Impasse – Human Services Are At At Risk

Devastating and Unacceptable

Springfield_Illinois_Capitol_AmtrakChicago, IL
– Tuesday was the last day of Illinois’ regularly scheduled legislative session. We are deeply disappointed that the General Assembly and the Governor have failed to come to a budget solution backed by adequate revenue for the second year in a row. The ongoing budget impasse has already had devastating consequences for our most vulnerable citizens, and they will only grow as the human services sector in our state continues to operate with inadequate resources and uncertain state contracts.

Having no budget in Illinois leaves mental health providers and thousands of other healthcare and human service providers across Illinois without the certainty and stability needed to provide the care our clients need to remain well. We are performing services every day under contracts that are not being honored, without knowing when or if we will be paid. Our clients suffer, our staffs are stressed and nervous, and a sector that represents a large portion of Illinois’ economy and jobs is under threat.

Without a budget, people living with serious mental illnesses are losing services that enable them to manage their illness and stay out of hospitals and other expensive settings that cost taxpayers far more than treatment.  In addition, the budget impasse has caused hundreds of providers across the state to make significant layoffs due to a lack of payment by the state for services delivered. The 169,000 human services workers in Illinois represent 3.5% of the state’s workforce and are a significant economic driver. The budget impasse is costing our state money, jobs, and economic growth.

We know from previous studies that when mental health treatment services are cut, preventable psychiatric hospitalizations skyrocket. Following over $113M in cuts between 2009 and 2011, psychiatric hospitalizations spiked by 19% and cost the state $131M, more than the cuts themselves.

Many in our sector will not survive without a fully funded budget in place soon. The Governor and the General Assembly must work together to reach a budget agreement for FY16 and FY17 by the end of June that fully funds mental health and other healthcare and human services with sufficient revenue to support these investments. Without immediate action, irreparable harm will be done to an already devastated sector of the Illinois healthcare landscape, leaving thousands of people without life-saving treatment. This is an outcome that Illinois simply cannot afford.


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

This Memorial Day, We Salute Veterans’ Sacrifices

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This Memorial Day, we salute all of the veterans who have dedicated and sacrificed their lives for a greater purpose. The women and men who serve are all heroes.

Heroes like Vance.

Vance - Thresholds Member and Veteran

A veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve, Vance enjoyed serving his country. After sustaining a disabling injury in his community, he found himself in and out of housing. He finally ended up in a nursing home starting in 2008, struggling with both mental and physical illnesses.

Then Vance was connected with the Thresholds Veterans Project in December 2014. He worked closely with the treatment team, first addressing his mental illness so he would be healthy enough to then tackle his physical challenges more effectively. He was eventually able to leave the nursing home and find and keep his own apartment in the community. Vince is now actively engaged with the Thresholds veterans community and says that it helps keep him grounded and well-connected.

Like so many veterans, Vance has set goals for himself and reached them with the right supports. He was recently fitted for a new motorized wheelchair, which will alleviate many of his physical health challenges, and he is looking forward to starting his search for work.

It is people like Vance that remind us of the sacrifices veterans make for the well-being of others every single day. Please join us today in remembering the veterans who have made the greatest sacrifice. They’ve given so much, and they deserve our support.

Learn more about the Thresholds Veterans Project and watch a video about how we support women veterans. Consider a gift to support our heroes and help them get the care they deserve.