To provide leadership to ensure the prevention and treatment of mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse by identifying, planning, coordinating, fostering development, and contracting for quality services for all citizens of McHenry County, Illinois.
That all McHenry County residents experience optimal mental wellness through access to an integrated system of behavioral healthcare services of excellent quality, representing a recovery and resiliency focused, consumer-driven, culturally inclusive, community-based continuum of care.
Our Purpose and Philosophy
The Illinois Community Mental Health Act mandates that each Community Mental Health Board in the state:
- Review and evaluate community mental health services and facilities
- Plan for programs of community mental health services and facilities
- Consult with others regarding the most efficient delivery of services
- Appropriate funds to maintain mental health services and facilities
The McHenry County Mental Health Board sees its role in a larger context, however, than that presented in the Act. The Board realizes that it exists at the will of the community as expressed by passing the referendum. The Board therefore is mandated to assure on behalf of the community that those in need of mental health, developmental disability or substance abuse services will have those services available to them. To accomplish this task the Board must continuously engage in policy development focused on their governance of all access, quality and cost concerns for their constituency's behavioral healthcare needs.
The Statute and Bylaws Governing the Mental Health Board
The Mental Health Board (MHB) is a special purpose unit of the county government that is regulated through Illinois House Bill 708, also known as the Community Mental Health Act (CMHA). The CMHA mandates the MHB to administer the mental health fund through the direction of a nine-member board of community representatives appointed by the county government. The board is responsible for making sure that the duties and responsibilities of the CMHA are fulfilled.
The MHB was established after McHenry County voters passed a referendum in 1967 to levy an annual tax for the purpose of "...providing community mental health facilities and services..." In accordance with the CMHA, the MHB distributes levied funds through a yearly application process to organizations that treat and educate county residents affected by mental illness, substance abuse, and other populations in need of behavioral health care.
The first full-time employee, the executive director, was hired in 1975. The volunteer members of the board needed professional leadership to coordinate day-to-day affairs, provide planning expertise, monitor services, initiate networking of services, and develop a closer affiliation with local schools.
Since that time, the MHB worked to develop a comprehensive community mental health system. It won two federal Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) grants with the goal of establishing a comprehensive, integrated, and cost effective mental health system. The MHB also partnered with Lake County to win another SAMHSA grant to coordinate services for veterans and their families.
In Fiscal Year 2016 the MHB budget is just over $13.5 million funding 27 agencies that provide services within our community.
To read the statutes that govern Mental Health (708) Boards click here.
To read the Bylaws of the McHenry County Mental Health Board click here.
Accredited through the Commission on
Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities