This year we helped 3,012 people with mental illness aged 5 and older. As a result they have gained more peace of mind and control of their lives. We provided psychiatry services to 1,164 individuals and counseling to 126 children and adolescents as well as 932 adults. Our Residential program served 65 people who gained new or improved life skills at groups and received treatment paired with housing as they prepared to live on their own independently. Our 24/7 psychiatric emergency program served 1,321 people in crisis. Crisis care at our Crisis Residential program and Intensive Crisis Outpatient program was provided to 96 individuals. We had a fulfilling year working with many fine people who were in recovery.
Approximately 300 supporters attended our events that included the November Festival of Trees, our spring Wishes for Wellness Brunch and our first ever “New Year, New Hope” Calendar Release reception.
The State did not pay us on time and Medicaid managed care insurance companies continued to question claims. We, along with other human service agencies serving Elgin Township, tried unsuccessfully to place an Elgin Township 708 Mental Health Board referendum on the voter’s ballot to decide if the community would consider supporting human services with property tax dollars. A new referendum petition drive is underway. As usual, we lost money trying to serve the many people who seek our services, 72% of those people had incomes at the poverty level or below.
The Ecker Center achieved a number of key strategic and operational targets during Fiscal Year 2018. We began to increase many of the service hours that were previously reduced when our largest funder the State of Illinois did not pay us during Fiscal Year 2016 due to the budget impasse. The newly increased services were psychiatry, nursing, therapy, and case management. This resulted in our program services expense increasing by 12.2% over last year. Management and general expenses were 7% of our total budget.
We signed an agreement with Hanover Township to be the primary service provider at a planned low income housing development, Hanover Landing, in Elgin. We completed a merger agreement with the well-respected Renz Addiction Counseling Center to become a full service behavioral health provider and enjoy economies of scale. Our case management intake process was streamlined. We provided 24 hour crisis support to a group of our most crisis prone clients and expanded our life skills group offerings. We extended counseling services on Saturdays and evenings to meet the needs of our clients.
Our staff and clients deeply appreciate the financial support we have received in Fiscal Year 2018 which made it possible to provide beneficial mental health services to thousands of people in our community.
Aaron Sellers, Board Chairman Karen Beyer, CEO