BHA working to make up for gaps in county behavioral services

By Devan Gagliardo — CFGC Program Director

Oct. 11, 2011

If you pay attention to the news at all, you know our state is in the midst of a financial disaster.

Unfortunately, many mental health providers, schools and non-profit agencies have had to decrease or eliminate programs due to lack of funding. Although there have always been gaps in services for those seeking behavioral health services in Grundy County, these gaps are growing at alarming rates as funding is cut and programs eliminated. The Behavioral Health Alliance of Grundy County is working together to address these issues.

The Behavioral Health Alliance of Grundy County (BHA) initially came together in August 2009 as a result of members having identified serious gaps in behavioral health services in Grundy County. Our mission is to identify and eliminate gaps in services by (1) communicating, collaborating, and coordinating a unified system of care; (2) advocating for and supporting additional services; and (3) providing education and outreach to the community.

At our September meeting, the newly-elected officers were slated: President Sharon Schultz, Grundy-Kendall Regional Office of Education No. 24,; Vice President Rachelle Fisher of Catholic Charities Diocese of Joliet; and Secretary Devan Gagliardo of the Community Foundation of Grundy County. The BHA meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at 3 p.m. at the Canal Port Community Conference Room.

The BHA has been working hard to decrease gaps in behavioral health services available to Grundy County residents. Most recently, the BHA organized a “Wraparound Case Management” training for counselors and social workers. The Wrap Training is scheduled to take place on Oct. 12. This training will educate attendees on how to write and facilitate Wrap Plans.

So what is a Wrap Plan? A Wrap Plan is a process used to link a family to appropriate services in their community. The usage of Wrap Plans typically focuses on children age 3-21 that are at risk for truancy, suspension or expulsion from school or at risk of academic failures due to behavioral or academic issues. A Wrap Plan is written by a team comprised of individuals in that child’s life such as parents, relatives, teachers, coaches, or counselors. After the Wrap Plan is written, reviewed, and approved by Grundy County’s Wrap Panel, the family is eligible for financial support. The money is provided through funds at the Department of Child and Family Service and the Illinois State Board of Education. There are specific guidelines regarding what qualifies as justifiable support to ensure money is given to only those who truly are in need.

The BHA hoped 25 individuals would register for this training. We have surpassed our hopes with 33 participants registered to date! Participation is roughly a 50/50 split between school and agency professionals. The training is being offered free of charge due to the generosity of Linden Oaks at Edward Hospital who is donating Continuing Education Units (CEUs), our presenter Yvonne MacDonald-Hames, LCSW from Daybreak Center, who is donating her time, and our other sponsors: Will-Grundy LAN No. 49, Grundy County Interagency Council, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and Illinois State Board of Education. We are certain this Wrap Training will be very successful!

The BHA recently released the first edition of our monthly e-newsletter “Grundy County’s Mental Health Monthly!” This month’s edition highlights National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Depression Screening Day. Readers will find an article about prescription drug abuse among teens, upcoming events, agency highlights, and additional links relating to featured topics. Future e-newsletters will contain information pertinent to that specific month, issues affecting Grundy County, agency news, and upcoming events. It is the hope of the BHA that this newsletter will educate the community and serve as a source of quality behavioral health information for Grundy County.

If you are interested in being added to our monthly e-newsletter list, please contact Devan at [email protected]. You can also find the newsletter on Facebook by “liking” the Community Foundation of Grundy County’s page.



  • To be added to the mailing list for “Grundy County’s Mental Health Monthly,” the Behavioral Health Alliance of Grundy County’s monthly e-newsletter, email Devan Gagliardo at [email protected]. It can also be found on Facebook.

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