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Empowering Community Mental Health

From Our Neighborhood News, Spring 2024

Chicago-area nonprofit Turning Point has offered a range of mental health services to children and adults for more than 50 years. The Skokie, Illinois–based center serves over 1,400 people annually, especially low-income and Medicaid clients who often lack access to mental health services elsewhere.

Its comprehensive offerings include individual and group therapy and crisis intervention. The center will soon expand its crisis center to operate 24/7 and is establishing a new site in Evanston, broadening its reach to support a wider demographic. The robust group program assists clients with severe and chronic mental health issues, focusing on imparting essential life skills and aiding in the transition to independent living. A transitional living program in Skokie and Des Plaines provides temporary housing.

For over 20 years, Turning Point has collaborated with Northwestern University, hosting interns from the school’s master in counseling program. Interns see clients, receive clinical supervision, and actively participate in the center’s operations. “Northwestern consistently sends us top-notch clinicians,” says director of clinical services
Julianne Rooney. “It’s nice to be able to partner with a university right here in our area. Students are familiar with the community the clients are a part of and can relate to them in that way.”

Turning Point’s commitment to supporting interns includes an open-door policy so that students have access to guidance and debriefing sessions when needed. A crisis team is readily available to aid students in managing challenging situations, ensuring a comprehensive learning experience.

“Interns get a broad range of experiences,” Rooney says, noting they can request experiences with children, couples, families, or people with particular diagnoses. “But we’ll also push them to see others. Sometimes
students are scared of seeing a particular type of client or diagnosis. With the right support, they might find they enjoy it and they’ll get a chance to practice all kinds of different skills and therapy modalities.

“They’ve got a lot of support and options to grow as clinicians and get many different experiences.”

TO LEARN MORE about Turning Point’s services, visit