NCBHS in the News

Bureau County Republican

Jan 4 2018

North Central Behavioral Health Systems has partnered with Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton to offer mental health and substance use counseling services on an outpatient basis within the hospital setting.

The new hospital-based counseling location is in addition to North Central’s current offices located at Perry Plaza on South Bureau Valley Parkway.

Smart Alert Illinois Department of Human Services

Dec 6 2017

The Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (IDHS/DASA) is pleased to announce the establishment of the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances. The Helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for individuals experiencing opioid use disorders, families, and anyone affected by the disease. The Helpline is confidential and free. Helpline specialists are trained in evidence-based approaches to help connect callers with treatment services and recovery support services. To reach the Helpline, call 1-833-2FINDHELP.

Ottawa Times

Nov 13 2017

North Central Behavioral Health opened new offices in October at the OSF HealthCare Center for Health-Streator.

The Newstribune

Jul 7 2017

Our road to recovery from the events of Feb. 28 is shaping up to be a long and daunting one, but it is a road we are traversing and conquering together. The never-ending support our community has for each other is truly amazing, and we should all be proud to be a part of it.

More than 600 houses were affected by the tornado and related storms. Those properties are homes to our families, friends and neighbors. The physical loss can be readily seen, but the emotional damage is not quite so obvious.  


Sep 17 2015

Ben Hohenstatt
NewsTribune Reporter

Many 12-step programs say admitting there is a problem is the first step toward recovery. 

Peru is pushing for the Illinois Valley to take that step in regard to the area’s heroin problem.  

“Someone needs to take the lead on it so, I thought we would,” said Peru police chief Douglas Bernabei during Peru finance and safety services committee meeting. “We’re going to call a public forum not to solve the heroin problem but to admit there is one in the whole region.”

A date for the forum has not yet been set.

Bernabei said the problem is noticeable locally and extends to the entire state of Illinois, and throughout the country.

“It’s probably the worst drug problem in the history of America, right now,” Bernabei said. “There’s a tremendous number of heroin overdoses and deaths locally.” 

The forum will be collaborative. Bernabei said there are plans to bring in La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne, as well as representatives from social services, North Central Behavioral Health Systems, law enforcement, community leaders and schools for a “round table discussion.”

Bernabei compared it to the community meeting, which was held more than a decade ago at Hall High School, but said the current epidemic is much worse. 

“It’s worse around this time, because back then it (heroin) was 10 percent pure,” Bernabei said. “Now, it’s 40, 50 or 60 percent.” 

In addition to the increased purity, Bernabei said today’s heroin is often cut with harmful chemicals. 

The forum will examine the possibility that something may be missing from the region that would help combat the heroin problem. 

“I think there’s a lot of people curious, because they’re looking for where you can go for help,” said Alderman David Potthoff, fourth ward. “Everybody’s been affected.” 

Anyone wishing participate in the forum as a victim or member of a victim’s family can email or call (815) 223-2151 Ext. 6.

Ben Hohenstatt can be reached at (815) 220-6932 or Follow him on Twitter @NT_Peru.

The Times

Apr 28 2015

The La Salle County Juvenile Justice Council will host its annual Juvenile Justice Seminar from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21 at Mendota Civic Center, 1901 Tom Merwin Drive.

Dec 18 2014

PRINCETON — With winter upon us, cold temperatures, shorter days and a dreary landscape are enough to make anyone feel a little bummed out from time to time. But if you can’t shake those winter blues, you might not be sad, you might have SAD or seasonal affective disorder.

SAD affects up to a half-million Americans each year, but the good news is there are options out there to manage the disorder.

What are the signs and symptoms of SAD?
Sarah Morscheiser, a clinician with North CentralBehavioral Health Systems says people with SAD report feeling depressed and having low energy. They may notice changes in their daily functioning such as irritability or hypersensitivity to stressful situations, along with tiredness, oversleeping or weight gain.

The American Psychiatric Association says these symptoms can be severe, but more usually mild or moderate. Some people affected with SAD may avoid social situations or suffer from a general lack of energy, sometimes with a feeling of heaviness in the arms and legs. 

So how do you tell the difference between depression and having SAD? Those suffering from SAD will see their symptoms subside in the spring and summer.

In short, it is believed SAD is caused by decreased exposure to sunlight. The APA says that the lack of sunlight may cause a disruption in the body’s internal clock. Additionally, more melatonin, a hormone that helps bring on sleep, is produced in the dark and has shown to be linked to SAD. Morscheiser also says less serotonin, a brain chemical that affects mood, is produced.

Who is most likely to be affected by SAD?
Morscheiser says anyone can be affected by it, but it is more common for those already diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder. Due to the relationship between SAD and lack of sunlight, those living in the northern United States are more likely to be affected, though symptoms can come on even with prolonged exposure to cloudy weather, according to the APA. Women and young adults are more likely to be afflicted.

What are the treatments?
Treatment for SAD, as with many disorders, depends on the severity. For those with mild cases, the APA says simply taking long walks outside or spending time in front of a window every day are enough to ease symptoms. People with more severe forms may require light therapy which involves exposure to lights bright enough to affect brain chemistry. A person undergoing light therapy will sit in front of a special fluorescent light box or wear a light-fitted visor 30-90 minutes daily, usually in the morning to avoid additional sleep disruption.

Light therapy has been shown to bring about complete remission in symptoms in about 50 percent to 80 percent of people who use it, according to National Alliance on Mental Illness.

For those with the most severe cases, antidepressants and therapy may be needed to see a difference in symptoms.

What should someone do if they think they have SAD?
Morscheiser suggests starting with your doctor to rule out any other conditions. From this discussion, you can decide on a course of action for treatment. If you do experience symptoms every year, it is important to prepare for this time of year. Spring is too far away to wait to feel better.

Don't yield to SAD

Some additional tips offered by Terry Barnett-Martin, M.S. LMFT, for those affected with seasonal affective disorder or even those who just feel a case of the blahs this winter:

-  Get into the light whenever possible.
-  Exercise, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. Exercise changes the chemistry of your brain and lifts your mood.
-  Say yes to things you really want to do, and avoid those that drain your energy. 
-  Try pet therapy; cats and dogs can have a calming effect and a therapeutic value in your life.
-  Build good relationship fences that connect you to the people in your life who make you feel good and protect you from those who drain your energy.
-  Eat plenty of fresh and healthy foods. Splurge on fresh fruits and veggies and moderate sugar and alcohol both of which can make you feel sluggish. 
-  Change up your routine, even if it’s just driving a different route to work or changing your bedtime, small changes can refresh you.

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