C-U Mental Health Agency Looks Ahead After Merger

Rosecrance sign.

A Rosecrance sign, recently installed at the former Community Elements office in Champaign.

Jim Meadows / Illinois Public Media

The head of the former Community Elements says they plan to expand their substance abuse treatment services in Champaign-Urbana, now that they have merged with Rockford-based Rosecrance.

Sheila Ferguson, formerly CEO of Community Elements, is now the executive director of the Champaign-Urbana unit of Rosecrance. the merger of the two agencies became official on Friday, July 1st.

Ferguson says that even before the merger became officials, talks were launched with various stakeholders about the kind of substance abuse services that the Champaign County area could use.

“Some of the early indicators are for sort of an intensive outpatient program,” said Ferguson. “Some people have talked about detox, and some people have talked about kind of a triage-type center. So those are kind of the ideas that have been sifting to the top. But now, we really need to have a sustainable plan.”

Ferguson says Rosecrance should be bringing new programs for substance abuse to the Champaign County area in the next few months. Otherwise, she says their agency will continue to offer its other services in Champaign-Urbana to help treat mental illness and alleviate homelessness. Ferguson says the main difference people will notice is in their signs --- which changed last week from Community Elements to Rosecrance.

Rosecrance is named after Dr. James and Frannie Rosecrance, who built a house in the Winnebago County town of New Milford that first served as a clinic for Civil War soldiers, and later focused on youth and families. After the couple died, provisions in the Rosecrance’ will turned the house into an orphanage for boys, which operated into the 1950s. The orphanage became the basis for the present Rosecrance organization, which provides behavioral health services in the Rockford and Chicago areas, as well as in Iowa and Wisconsin.

Community Elements began in 1956 as the Champaign County Mental Health Clinic, evolving into the Champaign County Mental Health Center in 1968.  Crisis Line, one of its best-known services was established in 1967. Another well-known service, the TIMES Center for homeless men, began in 1998.  The organization changed its name to Community Elements in 2010.

Story source: WILL