Each May, Trilogy joins with Mental Health America in celebrating Mental Health Month. For more than 65 years, May has been recognized as Mental Health Month by people across the country and seen as a time to raise awareness about mental health. This year the theme of Mental Health Month is B4Stage4, which is aimed at getting people to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and reaching out for treatment of mental health disorders before they reach Stage 4.
In 2010, Trilogy partnered with Heartland Health Centers (HHC) and became one of 45 mental health organizations across the country to be awarded a competitive multimillion dollar, four year federal grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in support of expanding our Integrated Healthcare Program (IHC). As participants in SAMHSA’s Primary and Behavioral Healthcare Integration (PBHCI) program, Trilogy became a part of a nationwide collective of innovative behavioral healthcare organizations that are addressing barriers to quality primary healthcare for individuals with serious mental illness which normally exist in the traditional, parallel treatment methods employed across the United States. Since 2010, the number of PBHCI grantees has grown from 45 to 100.
It’s almost May. The polar vortex is merely a memory and summer is fast approaching! The change in seasons means a mental health boost for many of us and what better way to embrace our heightened spirits than to advocate for others?
For much of my life I did not feel like I was headed in a good direction and it was largely due to not getting medication or treatment for my mental illness. In 2004, I tried getting my life on track by taking classes in automotives at several community colleges across Chicago. I was able to pick up a few college credits here and there, but each time I got involved with school I became symptomatic, I would stop taking classes, and things would get worse. Eventually, I wound up in the hands of law enforcement and was court ordered into the forensic ward of a State of Illinois mental health center. I received treatment there for several years until January of 2013.
Trilogy’s Housing First Program is designed to serve homeless persons who are living with a serious mental illness and/or who have co-occurring problems with alcohol and/or drugs. In Fiscal Year 2013, Trilogy was awarded $237,109 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Program to assist 25 HUD-qualified homeless people in transitioning off the streets and into permanent supported housing. Since starting the Housing First Program in August 2013, Trilogy’s Housing Coordinator has successfully helped individuals across Chicago who qualify for housing assistance achieve
permanent housing, while Trilogy provides essential supportive services.
A lot of kids say, “My dad is crazy!”, but they don't mean it the way I meant it. My dad was bipolar, but we didn’t know it at the time. At the time we blamed his alcoholism. He drank all day and used to yell at my twin sister and me incoherently. He frequently became violent, hitting us with a razor strap or a belt. We would find our favorite toys in the trash. Sometimes he accused us of doing things we had not done, but by the time I was 12 I would not let him get away with false accusations. I stood up to him, saying we had not done what he was accusing us of because to me it was worth the beating just to stand up for myself. I was in high school when I realized my father was bipolar, a disease that ran in his family.
When Trilogy was selected by the State of Illinois to be one of the first community-based mental health organizations designated as a Williams Class Member service provider, we agreed to assist men and women who have lived in nursing homes for large portions of their lives with the transition of moving into their own independent apartments. As our Williams Transition Team began enrolling people into the program, they noticed that a large number of the residents moving out on their own needed individualized supports to address deficits in their day-to-day living skills.
During last week’s State of the Union (SOTU), President Obama addressed many important issues facing our nation. One “Call to Action” that really caught our attention and that of our fellow community mental health providers was the need to provide our military veterans with access to quality mental health care.
Joseph C. is one of more than 500 people who take advantage of the services offered through the Trilogy Heartland Integrated Healthcare clinic each year. Trilogy established our Integrated Healthcare Program in 2008 to help address the needs of individuals like Joseph who are living with serious mental illness and, often times as a result of that mental illness, have trouble accessing quality primary health services.
Each quarter, Trilogy hosts a Williams Friends and Family Night. Thanks to the hard work of our Williams Team, this event is always a wonderful opportunity for friends and family of Class members—men and women who have lived in a nursing home setting for extended portions of their lives with the transition of moving into their own apartments as part of the implementation plan set forth by the State of Illinois' Williams Consent Decree—to socialize with one another over a meal and learn more about Trilogy and the services we provide.