Mental health center in Jefferson Park helps clients become independent
by BRIAN NADIG
The Envision Unlimited Mental Health and Wellness Center, 5080 N. Elston Ave., focuses on helping its clients become more independent in all aspects of life.
The center, which opened last year, provides employment support services, including job coaches who guide clients through the application process and other assistance, said Catherine Aranas, assistant director of Learning and Employment for the center.
In one instance, staff members gave a man named Jesse a ride to a job interview but were mostly hands-off as he independently pursued a job. Except for some occasional advice from his job coach, Jesse prepared his resume and secured the interview with a local hospital.
"From the moment I met him, Jesse was determined to join the workforce so that he could fulfill his dream of becoming independent. He has handled each obstacle with patience and persistence," Aranas said in Envision’s 2018 annual report.
The center also offers recovery services that help clients with management of their symptoms and the building up of their self-esteem. It also offers access to psychiatrists and individual or group therapy, as its staff works with those experiencing serious and persistent mental illness and co-occurring disorders such as substance abuse.
The center will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, so that community members can learn about its programs. It provides services to those age 18 and older and have Medicaid or private insurance and are struggling with mental health concerns.
The agency also participates in a variety of community programs, encouraging its clients to volunteer at Earth Day events and other outdoor activities. In addition, some clients grow food at the Dunning Community Garden, 4235 N. Neenah Ave.,, and Envision’s Westtown Center has a "Buddy Biking" program that takes clients on the 606 Trail.
In 2017, Envision Unlimited merged with Neumann Family Services, and the combined agency retained the name Envision Unlimited. Both organizations have a long history in the area of serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the goal of increasing the self-sufficiency of their clients and integrating them into the community.
For more information, call the center at 773-506-3161 or visit its Web site at envisionunlimited.org.