Community Mental Health Board of Oak Park Township, IL, Launches Network of Care for Behavioral Health Web Site

July 17, 2009
Triblocal – Oak Park & River Forest, IL

OAK PARK TOWNSHIP, IL – On July 14, Oak Park Township representatives launched a one-stop shop for all things related to mental health: a comprehensive Web site, Network of Care.

"It ensures there is no wrong door for access," said Lisa DeVivo, executive director of the Community Mental Health Board of Oak Park Township.

The Community Health Board launched the new site at the 19th Century Club in Oak Park. The Web site contains a comprehensive list of sources and information mental health, substance abuse and developmental problems.

While there is information available on the Internet about such issues, DeVivo said there was no single location making a search for information time-consuming and difficult.

"Has anyone tried to google 'bipolar disorder' and get a thousand answers?" DeVivo said. "You won't have to anymore. You don't have to waste that time."

All information on the Network of Care is peer-reviewed to ensure its accuracy and effectiveness.

The Web site features, among other things, links and information for social service agencies, information on low-cost insurance, local and national events, news concerning mental health and a feature that lets users maintain personal health records online. The site is available in 13 languages, including American Sign Language.

The mental health board launched the Web site in collaboration with the Association of Community Mental Health Authorities. The Community Mental Health Board of Oak Park Township is a publicly funded entity that promotes patient advocacy, funding and education.

Such advocacy is important, especially in the current political climate that has many social service groups worried about funding, said Dr. Richard Carroll, president of the Community Mental Health Board of Oak Park Township.

"This is particularly an issue right now since our dysfunctional legislature has created some doubt with funding," Carroll said.

The Network of Care is available in communities in 26 states, and it is the third of it's kind in Illinois. While its goal is to help people in the Oak Park Township area, the Network of Care has caught the attention of representatives in other areas that are looking for solutions for social ills such as substance abuse.

"We were figuring out how to use this system in Chicago to help reduce some of our violence," said Dan Cantrell, an aide from U.S. Rep. Danny Davis' office. "It will be interesting to see how this unfolds."

The Web site is available at www.cmhb.networkofcare.org. For more information, call (708) 358-8855.

 
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