Posted by Al Anile
Guest Speaker Jennifer Sultz, Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center Development Director (Picture not available)
Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center is a Skokie Valley Rotary Club's Grant Recipient.
Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center has been in Skokie for over 50 years, providing outpatient mental health care for families and serving as a much needed and award-winning community resource, providing expert, affordable and compassionate mental health care. 
The Turning Point mission is solid support, when you need it most. During the current pandemic, Turning Point has continued to serve as an essential service, swiftly transitioning over the various programs to virtual formats so that clients and community members still have the mental health support that they need. Turning Point serves children and adults from throughout the Chicago metro area, with no geographic restrictions, starting at age 5.
The agency has a staff of approximately 60 therapists, administrators and support staff – all of whom provide care for approximately 1,300 clients annually, approximately 90% of whom are low income. Services provided at Turning Point include individual and family therapy, an extensive therapeutic groups program (over half of which is now operating virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic), case management, 24/7 crisis response, a transitional living program, and The Living Room & Resource Center at Turning Point, our walk-in program for adults in crisis. 
The grant from the Rotary Club is specifically supporting The Living Room program.  The Living Room at Turning Point is a psychiatric crisis center that is completely free of charge to guests and accessible on a walk-in basis. Open Monday through Friday, The Living Room offers a safe and calm environment in which guests can resolve crises with trained therapists and Recovery Support Specialists. The Living Room provides a free and comfortable alternative to hospital emergency rooms for adults experiencing psychiatric crises – and currently that care is being provided virtually.  The circumstances that bring someone to our Living Room are diverse. Visits may result from unanticipated crises, various stressors, or even a break in insurance coverage or a lapse in some type of support. 
The Living Room serves as an anchor during lapses in care, as a connection to a recovery community, as a place for learning about resources and recovery, and as a comforting environment in which to explore options for care, calmly problem solve, and map out next steps. Now in its 9th year, The Living Room has welcomed over 2200 visits and last year achieved a 99% success rate in deflecting guests away from visits to Emergency Rooms.
Approximately one third of our guests to The Living Room this past year were from the Skokie community.  By providing a free, accessible, and safe alternative for adults in crisis, The Living Room has proven itself to be a valuable community resource, benefiting those in need and rippling out to positively impact the community. The Living Room team has fielded inquiries from around the country, offering guidance on establishing Living Room programs elsewhere.  The program not only serves our immediate community but also serves as a model nationwide.  Turning Point is very grateful to The Rotary Club of Skokie Valley for its generous support of this important program.