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Giving Back Blog

  • Writer's pictureAscension Illinois Foundation

Protecting access to behavioral healthcare

Doctor talking with patient at desk


Record numbers of people in the U.S., including many people right here in the greater Chicago area, are struggling with anxiety, depression, substance use, and other mental and behavioral health challenges.

They don’t have to manage these challenges alone.

Thanks to Ascension Illinois, comprehensive, highly specialized behavioral health treatment services are available to all who need them. As people of all ages experience more severe and complex symptoms, philanthropy plays a critical role in making sure everyone has access to the care they need.

A mental health and addiction crisis

Even before COVID-19, rates of anxiety and depression in the U.S. were at very high levels. The pandemic disrupted daily life and routines, amplified fears about health and safety, introduced new financial and family stressors, and forced people into isolation.

“The result has been skyrocketing problems across the lifespan,” said Bradley Riemann, PhD, Senior Clinical Consultant, Ascension Illinois Foglia Family Foundation Residential Treatment Center. “We absolutely are in a mental health and addiction crisis in this country.”

While more people today are experiencing mental and behavioral health problems, the intensity and severity of their symptoms also has increased. For many of these more severe cases, 50 weekly minutes of traditional outpatient psychotherapy simply is not enough to help them get better.

“There’s never been a time where we needed more intensive treatment options than today,” said Dr. Riemann.

A full range of treatment options

Ascension Illinois Behavioral Medicine is one of the largest providers of behavioral health and substance use treatment services in the country. It includes Ascension Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital, a multispecialty, 141-bed hospital in Hoffman Estates that sees approximately 7,700 inpatient and outpatient admissions annually and offers highly specialized services including:

  • 24/7 intake and ACCESS department: Patients and families can come to the hospital at any time to receive a free assessment and recommendations for treatment options.

  • Inpatient treatment: For patients with severe symptoms that are impairing their ability to live their lives and who have become a danger to themselves or others; treatment options include: 

    • Older adult acute and mood stabilization

    • Eating disorders

    • Detoxification

    • Adolescent mood disorders

    • Adult acute disorders

    • Adult mood disorders

  • Partial hospitalization programs: For patients who need a step down from inpatient or residential care, or a step up from intensive outpatient or traditional outpatient therapy; programming is offered six hours per day, five days per week.

  • Intensive outpatient programs: For patients who need a step down from partial hospitalization treatment or a step up from traditional outpatient therapy; programming is offered three hours per day, three to five days per week.

  • Residential treatment: For patients who need 24/7, live-in care for chemical dependency or anxiety and OCD; programming is offered at the Foglia Family Foundation Residential Treatment Center in Elk Grove Village.

In addition, every year, thousands of additional individuals who are impacted by serious mental illness, housing insecurity and poverty receive community-based mental health and supportive housing services from the team at Ascension Illinois Behavioral Medicine. These services are made possible by philanthropic support from the community.

Philanthropy is needed more than ever

The cost of labor, staffing shortages and barriers with insurers and reimbursement rates make it a financial challenge to provide this full scope of long-term, high-quality care in the amount and at the intensity level that meets each individual patient’s needs. 

“Especially for extreme cases of patients whose symptoms have escalated to the point that they have become a danger to themselves or others, making effective change through treatment is nearly impossible without ongoing, longitudinal care,” said Shubhrajan Wadyal, MD, Medical Director, Child & Adolescent Inpatient Services, Autism Services, and Outpatient Group Practice. “The only way we’re going to be able to continue to meet the needs of all people in our community is through the philanthropic support of the community.” 

As a not-for-profit, faith-based health system, Ascension Illinois serves everyone who needs help. Philanthropy makes this mission possible, enabling the system to provide access to everyone, including those who have no way to pay for services or for whom insurance will not cover the full extent of intensive care they may need.



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Emily Dagostino

Director, Communications

Ascension Illinois Foundation


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