Cada: Let’s talk about mental health

DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board outlines funding for 2022

“Let’s talk about mental health.”

As the executive director of the DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board (MHB) I often start conversations with those words.

There were many times that I didn’t get much response, but our world is changing and the impacts of the pandemic, social injustice, uncertainty and increasing acceptance have brought urgency to the topic.

Everyone has mental health, some have good mental health, some have mental health needs and some deal with chronic mental illness. Exactly like physical health, we all have days where we feel good and days where we don’t.

So, let’s talk about mental health.

In 1967, a referendum was passed to create the DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board, which is an arm of the DeKalb County government, to receive tax payer dollars for DeKalb County residents to receive services and programs for mental health, substance use disorder and developmental disabilities.

July 1 marked the start of a new funding year. The MHB is honored to financially support programming and services for Grant Year 2022.

The MHB approved $2,573,800 in funding for 56 programs located at 23 organizations.

Highlights of Grant Year 2022 allocations include: funding for a Cognitive/Behavioral Support Program at Elder Care Services; increased capacity with Epilepsy Advocacy Network; more than double the funding to Northwestern Medicine to increase police and social work services including at DeKalb and Sycamore Police Departments; and increased funding for NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group in partnership with Northwestern Medicine.

The MHB is working on improving access to services for 0- to 7-year-old youth and their families who are experiencing mental health issues, offering information and training on suicide awareness, prevention, intervention and post-vention, and ensuring that mental health services are available to all residents of the county in an inclusive and equitable environment.

People are often frustrated and confused by the behavioral healthcare system.

I appreciate those who take the time to share with me their concerns and frustrations. Those conversations help the MHB determine funding priorities and funding decisions.

To learn more about the Mental Health Board and ways to talk about mental health, visit and follow us on Facebook:

We are always excited to talk about mental health.

Deanna L. Cada

Executive Director

DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board

2500 N. Annie Glidden Road, Suite B

DeKalb IL 60115