A few years ago, Sarah's Circle began providing Clinical Services on site to address some of the trauma and mental illness contributing to housing instability for the women we serve. (Currently, approximately 58% of the women at Sarah's Circle struggle with some form of mental illness.) As our program has grown, we have maintained strong relationships with partners in the area who provide more intensive and complementary mental health services. In the past year however, due to budget cuts in Illinois, these partnering organizations have become unable to treat women without Medicaid or some other form of insurance!
A lack of any form of insurance is quite common among women who are homeless, especially those who are in crisis during their first incident of homelessness, when they need counseling the most. In response to this even more dire need, we have expanded our Clinical Services to include individual clinical counseling and more group therapy. We now have groups on Trauma, Domestic Violence, Mood Management, and Anxiety Management, as well as art therapy and individual counseling. Sarah's Circle also partners with a neighboring health services agency to provide biweekly medication management at Sarah's Circle. In 2010, 206 women participated in Clinical Services at Sarah's Circle.
I have personally heard glowing reports from women who have regained hope and learned new coping skills from a clinical counselor. One said to me "I have found the strength inside of me that I never knew I had".
Thanks to generous support from partners like you, we have been able to respond to this need in the community and help women regain their independence.
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