From Susan’s Desk
April 7, 2022

I’m so excited that we can hold Josselyn’s Spring Luncheon supporting Camp Neeka and Youth Services this year, after a 2-year hiatus! The pandemic not only put a damper on our social calendars, it wreaked havoc on our children’s mental health. December 7, 2021, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an Advisory to highlight the urgent need to address the nation’s youth mental health crisis. At Josselyn, we are seeing it firsthand.  “One-half of our new intakes are youth. The lack of socialization kids had over the past two years is having such a significant impact. Our kids are hurting,” states Jennifer Kronk, LCPC and Clinical Intake Supervisor.

So, it’s no wonder that we are looking forward to the Spring Luncheon which supports youth programming at Josselyn. In addition to the fabulous boutique shopping, delectable food, and the chance to see friends after a long winter, you will hear from a panel of three amazing women dedicated to youth mental health.

Senator Laura Fine is the Chair of the Behavioral Health Committee in the Illinois Senate, and she has been a champion for the youth of her district to ensure they have access to the highest quality care.

Both Senator Fine and Rep. Robyn Gabel requested state funding which allowed Josselyn to open our Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program, providing a higher level of care for teens in need. 

She is the chief sponsor of SB3925 and SB 3617 to encourage more people to enter the human services and mental health fields as well as working in a community-based setting (like Josselyn!). She has also co-sponsored SB3935 which expands access to Medicaid community mental health care in Illinois to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations.

Maggie Nash, M.Ed., MSW., will be joining the panel as the Director of Camp Neeka, Jr. Board Leader and Director of our Teen Mental Health First Aid training. Maggie has deep knowledge of the issues our youth face, as well as a passion to help them cope, recover and thrive.  Maggie will share updates on Camp Neeka this year, but here are a few hints… we already have a wait list, even as we have expanded from thirty to forty campers this summer. 

Maggie says, “These ten additional campers are joining us for the first time feeling like they don’t have a place to belong.  I’m so grateful for the ten additional camp slots so that these new campers will end the summer with an increased sense of belonging and self-esteem.  That’s why your support is so very important.”

Cale Wardell, APRN rounds out our transformational trio.  As an Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner (in lay terms, Cale has a Doctorate in Psychiatric Nursing), Cale is a valuable addition to our Psychiatric Services team, a very scarce service for low income children.

Cale recently joined the Josselyn team and states, “I love Josselyn because the vision to provide high quality mental healthcare is at the center of every aspect of the organization.”

I hope you will join us!

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