New Lenox, IL (Dec. 13, 2018) — Several hundred guests, including community leaders, legislators and media, attended the Dec. 13 grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital, a new 100-bed freestanding behavioral health hospital in New Lenox. The event featured former Chicago Bears quarterback and Super Bowl champion Jim McMahon, who spoke about his struggles and experiences with depression following a successful 15-year career in the NFL.
“With the completion of this facility, we hope to provide resources to individuals, family members, friends, and the community at large for addressing mental health conditions and improving quality of life,” said Silver Oaks CEO Scott Hullinger. “For those of you who aren’t aware, more than 1,000 Illinoisans die each year by suicide. For every completed adult suicide, there are an estimated 25 attempts; those rates continue to rise with each passing year. These numbers are staggering and represent one of the many reasons this facility was built.”
One in four Americans today experience behavioral health difficulties, yet only half seek treatment. Without treatment, these problems can affect relationships, performance at work or school, or even the ability to complete everyday tasks and functions.
“Silver Cross is dedicated to meeting the mental health and substance abuse needs in this community,” said Ruth Colby, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital. “The leaders of this village and county care deeply about the quality of life for the people who reside here. With our partner, US HealthVest, Silver Oaks will provide expert mental health and substance abuse services for everyone who needs it.”
Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital, a joint venture between US HealthVest and Silver Cross Hospital, will provide specialized acute care for behavioral health and addiction treatment. Using evidence-based behavioral health modalities, Silver Oaks will offer inpatient, day hospital and intensive outpatient programs. As a community service, the hospital will provide mental health assessments 24/7 at no charge.
Silver Oaks will provide treatment for a full range of mental health disorders, including anxiety disorder; bipolar disorder/manic bipolar disorder; depression; substance use (alcohol, illegal drugs and the improper use of prescription or over-the-counter medications; post-traumatic stress disorder; and psychological trauma and abuse).
“At Silver Oaks, our goal is to provide the highest level of professional care for our patients in a welcoming environment that allows them to heal,” Hullinger added.
US HealthVest has a proven track record of working with existing medical providers to expand psychiatric and substance abuse services and access to care. US HealthVest operates Chicago Behavioral Hospital, a 138-bed psychiatric hospital in Des Plaines, Ill.; Lake Behavioral Hospital in Waukegan; two psychiatric hospitals in the greater Atlanta area; and a psychiatric hospital near Seattle.
“We have a common interest in that we accept all patients without regard to insurance or lack of insurance,” said Dr. Richard Kresch, psychiatrist and President and CEO of US HealthVest. “So no patient in need of care, who meets admission criteria, will ever be turned away from this hospital.”
Dire Need for Mental Health Services
According to the 2016 Will County Community Needs assessment, mental health has been identified as the top unmet need year after year. Area emergency rooms and jails are filled with people waiting for placement. In fact, 70% of healthcare providers surveyed said they refer people with mental illnesses to local emergency departments because of access issues.
With the closing of the Tinley Park Mental Health Center in 2012, there has been a shortage of beds forcing more than 60% of mental health and chemically dependent patients to leave the area for care. Because of these gaps in service, many have gone without treatment leading to the increase in addictions to opiates, heroin and alcohol in our community. Yet, despite massive community outreach efforts, heroin claimed the lives of 70 victims in Will County in the last year alone.
“So many people are calling out for help … our neighbors, our friends, our loved ones,” Colby added. “And I’m so proud to say, that together with our partner US HealthVest, we’ve stepped up to answer the call. But we couldn’t have done it without the help of so many amazing people, many of whom are here today.”
“I would like to begin by acknowledging those responsible for this endeavor,” Hullinger told the crowd. “Silver Cross Hospital, their executive team, and board for recognizing the need for these services in the community and their willingness to partner and bring it to fruition. US HealthVest and the vision of Dr. Richard Kresch and Martina Sze, to bring unparalleled clinical care to our most vulnerable populations and to provide treatment that will have a lasting and profound impact on members of our community. Finally, the countless others who provided their support for this facility from the beginning—the officials of Will County, the cities of Joliet and New Lenox, various community organizations, behavioral health service providers, physicians, and to all of you, the members of the community, who wish to see access and availability of mental health services improved—thank you!”
Silver Oaks is expected to open in early 2019. For more information, visit www.silveroaksbehavioralhospital.com