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Conference to look at mental health ‘service overlap’

An all-day conference Wednesday will look at ways of reducing overlap in the delivery of mental health programs in Evanston.

The United Way of the North Shore, one of the session’s sponsors, says about 10 percent of Evanston’s residents live at or below the poverty level, and the number of non-profits serving the area has gradually increased to about 90.

“There is a lot of overlap of services,” said Gary Von Glinow, Chief Professional Officer of United Way of the North Shore. “This causes confusion among social workers, counselors and other service providers and it’s certainly not an efficient way to run these agencies. Nonprofits are facing massive budget cuts from the state and this is the time to come together to make smart decisions about how to best serve our community.”


An all-day conference Wednesday will look at ways of reducing overlap in the delivery of mental health programs in Evanston.

The United Way of the North Shore, one of the session’s sponsors, says about 10 percent of Evanston’s residents live at or below the poverty level, and the number of non-profits serving the area has gradually increased to about 90.

“There is a lot of overlap of services,” said Gary Von Glinow, Chief Professional Officer of United Way of the North Shore. “This causes confusion among social workers, counselors and other service providers and it’s certainly not an efficient way to run these agencies. Nonprofits are facing massive budget cuts from the state and this is the time to come together to make smart decisions about how to best serve our community.”

Organizers hope the conference will not only make health and human service providers aware of what similar programs exist, but it will open a dialog and promote collaboration on ideas and services that will help avoid costly duplication among nonprofits and the social work community.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said, “In these difficult financial times it is imperative that we begin to explore opportunities for better collaboration. We must continue to examine creative methods of meeting the needs of our community.”

Brook Wiseman from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management will be the keynote speaker, and the day will end with an agency fair represented by more than 30 Evanston nonprofits that will set up information booths about the services they provide.

The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Parasol Room at the Civic Center. It’s also being sponsored by the city’s mental health board and by school districts 65 and 202.

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