A new emergency mental program called 590 at Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare is now open 24/7 for the residents of Rogers Park and Loyola students. 590 is contracted with the state of Illinois and offers various mental health services to clients.
Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare opened in Rogers Park in 1970. They provided sheltered employment for adults who had mental illnesses. Later that year, Trilogy received a grant from the Illinois Department of Mental Health, which was used to put together vocational and placement training for patients.
“This new program has allowed us to build out our mental crisis team,” Trilogy Program Manager Katie Alshuler said. “Our team works 24 hours a day, and that started Aug. 29. We offer brief support over the phone, or we see folks in real time if they are in crisis.”
The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a 24-hour service available to anyone experiencing emotional distress or a suicidal crisis. According to Trilogy Clinical Director Chris Mayer, the team is funded by grants and Medicaid through the state of Illinois.
“When it started, it was a workshop for individuals with mental health conditions, so it wasn’t the agency that it is today,” Alshuler said. “There are a few clients that are still around that remember those times. There was an incense shop here and a call center.”
College students are prone to severe mental health problems throughout their education, according to a 2022 study conducted by Boston University. The study found that depression amongst college students has increased by 135% over eight years, and anxiety has begun to spike at 110%.
Dr. David de Boer, director of counseling at the Loyola Wellness Center, discussed at the beginning of 2022 with Trilogy regarding making the mobile crisis unit available 24/7.
“I met with some of the staff at Trilogy earlier in the year when they were talking about proposing to do that,” de Boer said. “They were going to do that with funding that was coming from the effort to rule out 988 as a part of the crisis response for mental health.”
Trilogy does not have a direct relationship with Loyola, but having the Outpatient Services program and the clinic within walking distance of the Lake Shore Campus (LSC) makes Trilogy all the more intertwined with the Loyola community.
Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare has had Loyola students as interns and clients. The Trilogy Outpatient Services internship program, as of Sept. 2022, has hired 10 students from Loyola, according to Alshuler.
“Rogers Park is a really diverse place and Trilogy plays a huge role in bringing people together,” Alshuler said.