Health Clinic: Behavioral Health Program Update

Last week, the IMAN Health Clinic restarted its training relationship with the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration (SSA). After several exchanges and a brief field placement coordinator interview, SSA reactivated the IMAN Health Clinic’s status as a field placement site. The Clinic’s Behavioral Health program previously served as a field placement site for social work students interested in clinical work, as well as organizing and advocacy issues. The Behavioral Health program will take up to two Master’s level social work students for the 2015-2016 academic year and engage them in clinical work and advocacy.

Students in the SSA program will be able to read a description of IMAN’s Behavioral Health program and apply to be an intern in the Health Clinic beginning in January/February 2015. Following a similar process, the Behavioral Health program will also accept up to two graduate student trainees in clinical psychology from Chicago area universities. The Health Clinic is excited to resume training students for behavioral health, as we continue to address the overwhelming need for behavioral and mental health services in our communities.

Dr. Michelle Anderson Joins Clinic’s Behavioral Health Services

If you’ve never heard the saying that health is not just the absence of an illness, then we welcome you to the world of behavioral and mental health.  Behavioral health is about addressing mental health needs which range from severe mental illness to supporting people to grow in their own lives.

April, 2014 marked two years since six community mental health centers closed in the City of Chicago. These community clinics served as vital resources for maintaining the stability of the under or uninsured who needed assistance with mental health.  You can check out what’s being said about the community mental health clinics closures here.

Throughout all of this, the IMAN Health Clinic remains committed to the health and wellness of all, and seeks to strengthen its behavioral health capacity. The Clinic has staffed a clinical psychologist, Michelle Anderson, PhD, to offer direct services and expand the program.  Dr. Anderson has an extensive background in community mental health needs. She has worked with youth (age 10 and older), as well as adults and families in different locations.

The behavioral and mental program at IMAN’s Health Clinic offers services including individual therapy, career and life sessions, marital/couples sessions and family sessions for families with children ages 10 and older. The program is also seeking to collaborate with other organizations in the area to address issues related to violence and safety.  The behavioral health program will provide group events to give the community the opportunity to learn new ways to reduce stress and increase positive emotions. Eventually the behavioral health program will expand to include more counselors and professionals seeking specialized training in community mental health.  Behavioral health service hours at the Clinic are currently: Tues and Wed from 9:30-4 and Thurs from 1-4.

The  behavioral health program at the IMAN Health Clinic is supported by the Chicago Community Trust.

Health Clinic Now Open All Week

The expansion of IMAN Health Clinic continues. The Clinic is now open Monday through Friday 9 AM–5 PM, in addition to our original hours of Sunday, 10 AM–2 PM. This is a remarkable development in several ways. First, we are continuing to increase access to our community that is in the middle of a medically underserved area. Second, we have moved into uncharted territory with our Clinic being open 5 1/2 days a week. Third, this represents the largest expansion of the Clinic at one time, increasing from six half-days a week to 11 half-days a week.

Clinic-1This move is the culmination of a great deal of planning and deployment of resources and moves us further along our path toward a fully holistic and fulltime health center. IMAN’s Health Clinic began in response to the lack of access to healthcare on the South Side of Chicago, as a grassroots clinic providing health screenings two days a week.  Over the last five years, IMAN’s Clinic has transitioned from a basic, grassroots clinic into a comprehensive health center that operates six days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

As always, we will continue our best efforts to maintain the highest quality of care and standards of efficiency, and the commitment to a welcoming and culturally sensitive environment, on behalf of everybody involved with the Clinic. As we continue our journey, we will always need support and input from the communities that we serve and that support us. If anyone has any interest in health care and wishes to join our efforts, please contact us.

Senator Dick Durbin Visits IMAN

On Friday, February 21, Senator Dick Durbin, IL’s senior and the nation’s second highest-ranking senator, spent two hours with IMAN, directly engaging its leaders and projects.  Key IMAN allies and leaders from the Multifaith Housing Reclamation Campaign that IMAN led with the Jewish Council of Urban Affairs and the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) were also present for a brief lunch with the Senator before he took a tour of IMAN’s various projects. Senator Durbin was moved by the way leaders, residents and clergy from different faith traditions in the area have successfully mobilized to build power and demand change.

DD-1The Senator showed great interest in the current work being done on the second Green ReEntry home, and, in particular, discussed and shared ideas for how to take Green ReEntry to scale, and how this unique approach to tackling lack of decent housing, job skills, public safety, and effective reentry programs is needed in communities across the country.  The Senator was also presented with plans for the future IMAN Health and Wellness campus, which IMAN hopes to have completed by its 20th Anniversary in 2017.  The Senator showed particular interest in the planned Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) building, which will grow out of IMAN’s current Health Clinic and which will anchor the Health and Wellness campus centered.  He was very impressed to learn of the larger Muslim community’s support for the work of the Clinic over the years and to discover how organizations such as Islamic Relief USA, the Mosque Foundation and Muslim families across Illinois and the country have been the primary funders of an effort that has touched thousands of uninsured and under-insured residents over the years.

Senator Durbin also took time during his visit to address congregants gathered that day for a special Jum’ah service led by Usama Canon.  We hope that these visits from and contacts with the Senator and his office will continue, and that this cooperation will translate into a broadening of IMAN’s model of service and change in inner-cities.