A Skokie-based mental health agency that serves clients in Evanston and other nearby communities celebrated Friday the awarding of a $1.2 million grant from the North Suburban Healthcare Foundation.

Luminaries from the Evanston and Skokie areas, including Congressman Jan Schakowsky and state representative Daniel Biss, were on hand at the Turning Point Behavioral Health Center for a luncheon and tour of the facilities, located near Skokie Highway and Main Street.

Turning Point, established in 1969, is an outpatient mental health center that provides mental health services to all, especially low-income and uninsured patients.

The foundation grant, announced last month, has enabled the agency to double its office space to 40,000 square feet without incurring new debt.

Turning Point CEO Ann Fisher Raney told the approximately 100 guests at the celebration that the agency’s guidelines emphasize that “recovery is possible, we are all vulnerable, and together we are stronger.”

The Living Room at Turning Point was opened in September of 2011 to offer support to clients experiencing psychiatric emergencies in a comfortable, non-clinical space that provides a cost-effective alternative to hospital emergency rooms.

In its first year, some 228 visits resulted in fewer than 15 emergency room referrals that saved an estimated $500,000 in state health care costs.

Top: Speakers at the Turning Point celebration included, from left, Congressman Jan Schakowski, state representative Daniel Biss, and North Suburban Healthcare Foundation Vice Chairman Donald Perille.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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