Nicole Francen

Learn about one of our school-based mental health therapists, Nicole Francen.

How should I talk to children about tragedy?

Hurricanes Irma & Jose, the earthquake in Mexico, the shooting in Las Vegas, the truck driver in New York, and the church shooting in Texas – many devastating tragedies have happened in the past few months. It is important to take care of yourself and think about how you feel. Without taking care of ourselves, we are unable to care for others. Also imperative is helping children and adolescents to [...]

Cyberbulling: An Untamable Beast

The internet has the power to change the lives of young ones, allowing creativity, connection to the world, different perspectives, and a new way to access information not available over 30 years ago. However, an unfortunate and dangerous consequence of young people’s presence online is cyberbullying. Bullyingstatistics.org reports that over 50% of teens were bullied online, 1 out of 3 experienced cyber threats online, and over 25% of teens were bullied on [...]

FSA In The Community - November 2017

Family Service Association of Greater Elgin Area (FSA) values our role in our community. We have been talking about some of the different groups that we belong to and this month is no different. Elgin Human Service Council is a group of Not-for-Profit leaders that gather together with the purpose of collaborating, innovating, educating, advocating, and [...]

FSA In The Community - October 2017

Family Service Association (FSA) is an active member of the Kane County Juvenile Justice Council (JJC). The council was established pursuant to the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 and the purpose is to have ongoing collaboration between agencies and programs to better address juvenile delinquency. Members of the council include agencies that provide substance abuse treatment, juvenile mentoring, pregnancy support [...]

Marla Van Durme

I always wanted to make a difference in children’s lives but never knew where that thought and idea would take me. As a mom of four I took many years off from the work force before deciding it was time to get back in. Family is very important to me and [...]

Making a Difference

Can one person make a difference? Yes they can! Every day a child suffers in silence. Why? Most kids and teens don’t realize that there is help or don’t know who or how to ask. But there are people who want to make a difference and do. In the last fiscal year Family Service Association of Greater Elgin Area had over 1,600 hours of face to face contact with over 3,000 clients. Our staff has [...]

Open Communication Between Families And School

Schools often voice concerns about a student’s behavior and/or poor academic performance. What do we do with that information? Is it a one-time thing or does it happen often? What does the school think should be done? It can be hard to know what to do when there are so many unanswered questions and not enough information or understanding about how to help. [...]

Social Media And Our Mental Health

Whether you like it or not, social media appears not to be going anywhere anytime soon. But what sort of impact is it having upon our mental health?
For as much good as social media can do, there are also pitfalls to be aware of. If it is making you feel angry, jealous, or disconnected from others, you likely need to take a step back. Taking a digital detox [...]

Christine Richmond

Hi! My name is Christine Richmond. I am the Administrative Assistant to the business office. On September 23rd I will be celebrating 21 years with Family Service Association of greater Elgin Area. I first chose to work at FSA because [...]

Let's talk about suicide

Suicide is usually a difficult subject for those struggling with suicidal thoughts or know someone who is. The topic is often met with stigmas and myths that prevent people from seeking the care they need. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as reported [...]

Advocacy

Difficult situations or unpleasant experiences can leave you thinking there must be another way and everyone needs to know about this. This is the start of advocacy, a process of influencing change within a society. The strongest advocates of our society have either witnessed or [...]

Family Activities

For some, answering the unavoidable question, "what did you do this summer" is an initiation to Fall and a reminder of some of the wonderful experiences you have had over the Summer months. Summer is nearing its end and the beginning of the school year is here! [...]

Maha Ayesh

My job role at Family Service Association is recognized as the Mental Health Juvenile Justice Liaison. As a MHJJ Liaison, I advocate for juveniles in the surrounding Kane County Area. The role offers juvenile justice and mental health services to youth ages 11-18 years old who are at risk of [...]

Sleep and mental health

SLEEP, a simple five letter word, yet a vital activity that allows us to function at our best during the day, be productive, and think clearly. Studying the consequences of sleep deprivation is certainly not new. In fact, the first study in this area dates back to1896! Although getting enough sleep is common knowledge as how important it is to eat our veggies, it’s an area many of us struggle with! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that [...]

Janeth Barba

I am the Director of Crisis Services in which I oversee the Screening Assessment and Support Services Program and the Mental Health Juvenile Justice program. [...]

Farewell to a great leader

On June 29, 2017 the world lost a great social worker, colleague, boss, and advocate. Lisa La Forge was a force to be reckoned with in her tireless advocacy for appropriate and comprehensive child and adolescent mental health services. She was integral in starting the SASS (Screening, Assessment, and Support) Program that now provides about 1800 crisis assessments a year through FSA. She started the [...]

School-based mental health program

Family Service Association’s re-vamped School-Based Mental Health Program (SBMH) brings the concept of family counselling to a whole new level. Originating in 2005, through the vision of Lisa LaForge, some FSA therapists began working with students in 6 local schools to reduce the stigma of coming to an outpatient clinic [...]

Earl Evangelista

I am the Coordinator for the Family Support Services Program. This program is a community based therapeutic mentoring program. Staff in this program meet with clients in the homes and community to help them practice and build on the life skills they are learning in therapy. [...]

Culture and Diversity

Culture and diversity are tough and complex subjects to talk about. Our current climate however almost demands that we ask ourselves a few questions about this subject. What does culture and diversity mean to me [...]

Matthew Rodriguez

FSA has given me the opportunity to continue to grow as a behavioral health therapist in a very nurturing environment. From my first interview to this day, EVERYONE has been so friendly and helpful. Our office has [...]

Bernadette May

I have been at FSA for a little over 5 years. This is the best place that I have ever worked. FSA has a strong mission and values that resonate with me. FSA is true to the social work values that I embrace also. We embrace a strong family approach to treatment and [...]

Belinda Adame

I chose to work at FSA for many reasons. I had an amazing internship experience where I felt supported by my colleagues and supervisor. Also during internship, I was fortunate enough to work as a Screening Assessment and Support Services (SASS) crisis worker. Although sometimes stressful, [...]

Mental Health Awareness Month

Welcome to the month of May! As we welcome in the Spring season and all the refreshing beauty that it brings, we often find the motivation to do some freshening up around us. We clean out our closets, we dust and air out our homes, opening the windows after a long, snowy… well rainy… winter. Many of us [...]

Self-Care

Self-care is something that I often talk about with my clients but seems to be a topic that is ignored outside of the mental health community. I first want to clear up a common misconception. Living in [...]

Jennette Siebens

Learn more about our director of the school-based mental health program. [...]

Green Ribbon Campaign

Unfortunately, there is a lot of stigma when it comes to mental illness. Help us fight it in May by participating in this campaign [...]

Amanda Hinthorne

In this blog post one of our school-based therapist, Amanda Hinthorne, talks about some of her experiences here at FSA [...]

Jana Hayes

In this blog post our Family Resource Developer, Jana Hayes, talks about her experience working at FSA [...]

You Are What You Eat

“You are what you eat,” true or false? While you aren’t going to turn into a French fry if that is all you eat, what you eat does affect you. Diet can have a substantial impact on mental health. March is National Nutrition Month, making this the [...]

Fundraising Update

We want to thank all those who attended our "Chase Away The Winter Blues" event. [...]

Candina Crane

Meet Candina, our Individual Care Grant (ICG) Coordinator. [...]

Empathy: The Way We Connect

One of the main reasons people seek help from therapists is to mend their relationships. When loved ones are in conflict, the tension can trigger depression and anxiety, and when we feel rejected and disconnected, our self-esteem suffers. The need to belong and [...]

Remaining Positive When It Feels Like Negativity Surrounds You Everywhere

We are living in a tumultuous time. Some days it feels that you are constantly confronted with someone’s negative attitudes, beliefs, and feelings. News channels talk about growing murder rates and protests. Workplaces often are filled with people who feel trapped in jobs that are not meeting their expectations. Students at school experience bullying and mounting pressure for success. [...]

Chase Away The Winter Blues 2017

Personally I am not a winter person and this winter has had some odd weather. Living in the Midwest I have come to acknowledge that I need to keep an ice scraper, an umbrella, and my sunglasses and [...]

Alejandra Cortez

In this post Alejandra Cortez describes some of her experiences working at Family Service Association of Greater Elgin.

Tameron Keeffe

Tameron, our crisis supervisor, describes her experience working at FSA, her interests in the mental health field, and much more.

Terri Griswold

Meet another of our SASS therapists, Terri. Learn about the things she enjoys, the superpower she whishes she had, and discover who the most important person in her career has been [...]

What is #GivingTuesday? What is #ILGive?

You have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday but have you heard about Giving Tuesday? Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. This year it falls on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016. Hopefully you will [...]

Juan Escutia

Juan Escutia, one of our bilingual counselors, describes some of his professional and personal experiences while working at Family Service Association [...]

Not Just Sadness...

When you work in the mental health field, people talk about the stigma against mental illness and its treatment frequently. As with most things, I think that those with a disposition against mental illnesses and their treatment simply haven't taken the time to truly learn about and understand mental illness. During this first week of October, which is deemed Mental Illness Awareness Week by congress in 1990 to honor the work of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), I'd like to take a moment to get back to the brass tacks of mental illness [...]

Jodi Gregory

Get to know Jodi Gregory, one of our crisis workers who does a fantastic job for our SASS program. [...]

Suicide Prevention

In this blog post Catherine Matson writes about the main characteristics of suicide and also about the most prevalent warning signs. [...]

Joshua Rohrsen

In this blog post our family support worker Joshua shares his experience working at Family Service Association Of Greater Elgin [...]

Crisis Services

What is a crisis? A crisis situation can apply to many different things: a natural disaster, a hostage situation, an accident that requires going to an ER, a runaway youth, a divorce, or even [...]

Back To School

Hard to think about, but summer is already coming to a close. This means back to school for most of the youth that we serve. The thoughts of going back to school can create anxiety and stress in youth [...]

Psychiatry

Psychiatry is a somewhat mystifying part of mental health services to people. I want to take a moment to clarify some common misconceptions about psychiatrists and psychiatric services. In the mental health community, we talk about [...]

Christian Gutierrez

Get to know our staff members! This time, Christian Gutierrez answers some questions about her professional life and about some of the things that she enjoys about her work here at FSA. [...]

SASS: The people behind it all

You come to trust that if there is an emergency you can rely on your local fire department, police department, and hospitals to be there when you need them. The Screening Assessment and Support Services (SASS) program is who you reach out to [...]

Roxana Mendez

Get to know our staff members! This time, Roxana Mendez answers some questions about her professional life and about some of the things that she enjoys about her work here at FSA. [...]

State Of Illinois Budget Crisis

The State of Illinois legislators ended the Spring session on May 31st in Springfield with no budget for fiscal year 2017 that begins July 1, 2016 and STILL no budget for the current fiscal year 2016 that started July 1, 2015! [...]

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is designated as, “Mental Health Awareness Month”. This is the month that we all need to work at taking away the stigma that is attached to persons that suffer from a mental illness. [...]

Katelyn Mucci-Segura

Get to know our staff members! This time, Katelyn Mucci-Segura answers some questions about her professional life and about some of the things that she enjoys about her work here at FSA. [...]

A Look At Fundraising

Fundraising is an important tool for not-for-profit agencies especially during these difficult times with no state budget. Family Service Association of Greater Elgin Area (FSA) is a private, 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit agency that provides a full array of mental health services to children and their families. FSA is proud to [...]

Addicted To Interns

It is a joke within Family Service Association that I am addicted to interns and do not know how to identify that I have had enough. As with most jokes, there is at least some truth to it. I love, love, love working with interns! They come in so full of life, excited, with fresh ideas and ready to save the world! I am reminded of [...]

Chase Away The Winter Blues 2016

I don’t know about you but, I am tired of the cold and snow already. About this time of year, I start to hope and pray that there will be some cosmic occurrence that will happen to warm up Chicago and take my winter blues away! Short of that, knowing that this will probably not ever happen, FSA wants to once again, “Chase Away the Winter Blues” with a celebration at the Grand Victoria Casino on February 18th from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM. [...]

Let’s Talk About Therapy

Family Service Association of Greater Elgin (FSA) is going to explore something new…blogging. Today we are going to highlight one of our most well-known programs and talk about what might make it unique. Our Outpatient Therapy program is a mental health service to youth and families. Most people are familiar with the basic tenants of outpatient therapy. Once a week you go to an office, meet with a therapist who [...]