Our History

Iroquois Mental Health Center (IMHC) is a community mental health center located in Iroquois County, a large rural county in east central Illinois. Iroquois County is the third largest county in the State of Illinois, but the 16th lowest in population density and 49th largest in population.

IMHC first began providing outpatient mental health services as a branch of the Danville Mental Health Center in 1961. The IMHC became an independent corporation in 1970. IMHC was incorporated as a 501 c(3) nonprofit agency in 1971. In January 2005, the IMHC moved to its current location at 323 West Mulberry Street in Watseka, Illinois.

IMHC provides services to clients in Iroquois County and the surrounding counties of Vermilion, and Kankakee. Services include outpatient clinical services for adults, adolescents, and children including individual, group, and family therapy. Psychiatric services including medication monitoring and medication management are provided to adults, adolescents, and children by consulting psychiatrists and two staff nurses. Crisis intervention is available 24 hours a day seven days a week by our crisis team, and mental health case management is available for adults with severe mental illness.

Special clinical programs include:

  • alcohol and substance abuse services for adults and teens, including both individual and group counseling;
  • DUI Remedial Education and Substance Abuse Education;
  • Batterers Intervention and Treatment (BIT)- a twenty-six week program for perpetrators of domestic violence in partner relationships, referred by the Iroquois County Court System;
  • Psycho-Social Rehabilitation Program (PSRP)- which provides individual and group therapy.

Because individuals’ problems and ability to address them extend beyond a Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm workday, IMHC is open evenings and a full day on Saturday. In addition, a 24-hour, seven day per week crisis line is available. The agency also takes all steps necessary to ensure that all clients needing services receive them in a timely manner and are not put on a waiting list. To ensure that a therapist-client relationship begins under the best conditions, all comprehensive assessments are done by therapists who coordinate with others also working with the client.

IMHC serves a rural population of predominantly Caucasian, Eurocentric adults and children. The largest community is Watseka with a population of about 5,200. The remaining 24,500 people live in the county’s 26 townships on farms and in small communities. According to the 2010 U.S. Census the racial makeup of the county was 97.0% White; 6.1% of the population were Latino; 1.0 African American; 0.5% Asian; 0.3% Native American; 0% Pacific Islander; and 1.2% from two or more races.

 There were 11,884 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18; 49.0% were married couples living together; 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present; and 33.9% were non-families. The population was spread out with 24.50% under the age of 18; 6.9% from 18-24; 27.5% from 25 to 44; 25.7% from 45 to 64; and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.4 years. The median income for a household in the county was $48,248, and the median income for a family was $58,397. Males had a median income of $45,823 versus $28,634 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,563. About 9.2% of families and 11.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.8% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of age 65 or over.

All service programs are offered at our main facility 323 West Mulberry Street, Watseka, Illinois. Additional satellite clinics are located in Hoopeston, Onarga, Clifton, Cissna Park, Sheldon, Loda, and Monee Illinois. Program services available at the satellite clinics include outpatient therapy to adults, adolescents, and children and substance abuse outpatient therapy to adults and teens.

IMHC is the only facility within Iroquois County that provides behavioral health and substance abuse services. As such, IMHC has contact with community primary care physicians, the court system, each of the six community unit school districts within the county, other social service agencies, area businesses, and the community in times of crisis.

All programs, with the exception of court ordered services, are provided to residents of Iroquois County on a sliding fee scale. IMHC maintains a no waiting list policy and persons are treated regardless of their economic status.

IMHC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and supported by a two (2) million dollar operating budget. Programs and services are supported through diversified funding including contracts with the Illinois Department of Human Services, Offices of Mental Health and Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Medicaid, federal, state, and local grants and contributions. IMHC is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

Licensure to provide Adult and Adolescent Levels I and II Substance Abuse Services, DUI evaluation and Risk Education through the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse is maintained.

Adding to this growth in consumers, is the number of referrals ordered by the Iroquois County Court System for services. Iroquois Mental Health Center now serves the Court system with evaluations and has also provides group education and a Teen Group. Along with those of the Court system, the Center offers nine therapy groups for consumers.

The IMHC staff roster reflects the caliber of professional employees, as noted by their credentials. IMHC staff is highly trained, professional, ethical and dedicated to serving the needs of consumers.

Providing services to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Substance Abuse Testing, Treatment and Counseling, would provide the Agency with increased revenue and serve an additional segment of the population. The Agency typically serves residents in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion and Ford Counties. Approximately twenty (20) percent of new consumers reside outside of Iroquois County. The Iroquois Mental Health Center welcomes the opportunity to assist the U.S. District Court by providing mental health services to defendants/offenders in Iroquois County.

IMHC utilizes a collaborative multi-systemic, interagency approach, integrating knowledge from all the different agencies involved with an individual and his/her family. Models used by the agency are evidence based, supported by research. The agency’s philosophy and approach to serving children is holistic, and based on the belief that quality mental health and prevention, intervention, and treatment of self-destructive behaviors begins with a positive relationship between parent and child, starting with bonding in early infancy and changing in accordance with the child’s physical emotional and social development.

1. Development of a Child and Adolescent Program with a Program Director and dedicated staff to address the treatment needs of the 0-17 population. IMHC has seen an increase in the number of children and adolescents seeking services at the agency. IMHC referrals include schools, primary care physicians, the court system, and other social service agencies (i.e. D.C.F.S. and Catholic Charities). Under the leadership of the Child and Adolescent Program Director, IMHC now offers a coherent, dynamic, efficient and effective program.

IMHC has on staff three designated therapists, in addition to the Director, that provide assessments and treatment to the younger population. The dedicated therapists have received training through the State of Illinois, Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Child and Adolescent Services Evidence Based Treatment Initiatives. The Child and Adolescent program has two (2) play therapy rooms in which treatment is provided. Along with play therapy, IMHC also has facilities for art therapy and a basketball hoop. Therapists find this variety of resources extremely beneficial when providing treatment.

2. Over the past two years, IMHC has received funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Through the State of Illinois, Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services, community rehabilitation service providers were provided funding to assist the mentally disabled with employment related services. The IMHC Vocational Program serves the population in two categories: Adult mentally disabled population within rural Iroquois County and Transition Age Youth (ages 17-21) in rural Iroquois County. The program is deemed successful as approximately seventy-five (75) consumers have been assisted with fourteen (14) gainfully employed. The majority of the employed are in Iroquois County businesses.

3. One of the major accomplishments for IMHC over the past two years would be the survival of the agency. The State of Illinois one-hundred and twenty-two (120) community mental health centers funding process has changed drastically over the past three (3) years. With the implementation of the Fee-For-Service Model by the State of Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health, programs are no longer funded. Several community mental health agencies have either closed or merged with other social services agencies. IMHC, although taking on debt, has managed to stay a viable community mental health center. The agency continues to provide treatment at capacity, with the need increasing. After a difficult Fiscal Year 2009, where IMHC lost funding of over $400,000 and decreased expense over $400,000, Fiscal Year 2011 ended with over $88,000 net income. IMHC is currently paying down debt.

IMHC Programs

Outpatient Therapy

HC provides outpatient therapy to the mentally ill population within Iroquois and surrounding counties in Illinois and Indiana. The outpatient therapy is provided to children, adults and adolescents in individual and group therapy. The majority of IMHC consumers live within Iroquois County. Iroquois County can be described as a large (i.e. over 1,100 square miles), rural, (i.e. less than 30,000 county residents) economically depressed (the per capital income is $18,435) county. The County residents are 96% Caucasian with the majority within the 0-44 years of age category. The mental health program includes four (4) child and adolescent therapists and eight (8) adult therapists.

Substance Abuse Program

Substance Abuse Program at IMHC provides treatment and education to consumers seeking services in individual and group sessions. The majority of Substance Abuse consumers are adults, however, IMHC also provides services to adolescents. The Iroquois County Probation Department refers adolescents to IMHC for Behavioral Health Evaluations and counseling. Through the Substance Abuse Program, IMHC provides DUI Evaluations and Risk Education to those consumers with alcohol and/or drug traffic violations. The Substance Abuse Program consists of three (3) therapists.

Psychiatric Services

Psychiatric Services Program at IMHC staff include two (2) consulting psychiatrists, one (1) registered nurse, and one (1) licensed practical nurse (LPN). Services provided include psychiatric evaluation and assessments; medication management; and medication monitoring. The consulting psychiatrists see adults. A search is underway for a consulting child and adolescent psychiatrist. Psychiatrist services are provided only at the main location located in Watseka, IL. IMHC also assists consumers with application for medication assistance through various programs.

Number of Volunteers: NONE

Members of the Board of Directors (11)

Interns receiving no funding (3) one intern is shared with two other social services agencies and is provided a stipend.

Population includes adults, children, adolescents with mental illness and substance abuse within Iroquois and surrounding counties.