While I hope that we are past the worst of the pandemic, it is still a very stressful time for many. It is rare to pass a day without hearing news about a potential recession, a mass shooting, or the ongoing war in Ukraine. Prices are rising and investment portfolios are shrinking.
One of the indicators of the stress in our community is the county suicide rate. In 2021, DuPage County reported 89 suicides, seven of which were residents age 19 years or younger . At the end of June 2022, there were already 60 suicides reported, five of which were residents age 19 years or younger.
According to Mental Health America’s report titled The State of Mental Health in America , “Nationally, fewer than 1 in 3 youth with severe depression receive consistent mental health care. Even among youth with severe depression who receive some treatment, only 27% received consistent care.” In response to these statistics, actions are being taken nationally and locally to address mental health care concerns.
- Under federal law, a new 988 hotline took effect in July as the nationwide, easy-to- remember, three-digit dialing code for individuals in crisis to connect to suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
- Illinois passed a bill that allows students to take up to five excused mental health days .
- District 41, 89, and 87 schools are emphasizing mental health awareness through various efforts like providing information about community mental health resources, reminders about available support, letters to parents, students and teachers highlighting signs of depression, and positive messages for all students.
- Glenbard Parent Series has expanded its programming to include topics like The New Adolescence: Raising Happy and Successful Teens in an Age of Anxiety and Distraction (October 2020), A Community Conversation About Suicide: Student Voices, Resources and Hope (December 2020), Behind Happy Faces: Depression and Suicide, Lets’ Talk About It (September 2021), Un Extraño en la casa: Psicología de los Adolescentes Explicada a los Padres para una Mejor Comprensión/A Stranger at Home: Adolescent Psychology Explained to Parents for a Better Understanding (April 2022), and More Than Moody: Suicide, Let’s Talk About It (September 2022).
- In April of 2021, the residents of Milton Township approved a referendum to create a 708 Community Mental Health Board to establish and maintain community services for mental health, substance use disorder, and development disability. 708 Boards are named for House of Representatives Resolution 708, which created them.
- The Village of Glen Ellyn and the Glen Ellyn Public Library enlisted the help of Glen Ellyn Youth & Family Counseling Service (GEYFCS) to help residents of Glen Ellyn more easily access individual, family, or couples counseling, crisis intervention and support, and referral and linkage to community resources. In 2022, the Village contributed $190,000 to GEYFCS. To help increase the number of hours of counseling service available, the library is now hosting appointments and drop-in visits with a GEYFCS professional. Every Tuesday, from 9 am to noon on the 2nd floor of the library, a counselor meets with individuals who have scheduled appointments, and from 1-4 pm welcomes walk-in visitors on a first-come, first-served basis. To make an appointment, please call 630-469- 3040, ext. 3045 or email Jessica Gul at firstname.lastname@example.org. Minors 13 and under must be accompanied by a parent. Updated October 2022: New counseling hours at Glen Ellyn Public Library are Tuesdays, 11 am – 7 pm, with walk-in service from 11 am – 1 pm.
Soon, the Milton Township 708 Board will be announcing a grant opportunity to increase access to mental health resources within Milton Township. The Village of Glen Ellyn, Glen Ellyn Public Library, and GEYFCS plan to work together to maintain and increase access to much-needed mental health resources in our community. For your convenience, the library has compiled a list of Community Support Resources Available in DuPage County.
I hope that you have visited the library recently. I am proud of the staff members who work every day to make the library a place where everyone feels safe and welcome, and where you can find the resources you need in our community.
If you have questions about any of the information above, or anything else about the library, please email me or phone 630-790-6760.