1 in 4 people will experience mental illness.
The 1 in 4 Mental Health Project emerged from the Ladder to Leadership program sponsored by the Community Memorial Foundation. At the culmination of this project the community felt it was urgent for this project to continue; private donors and key organizations immediately donated to this effort and the DuPage Federation assumed the leadership role for 1 in 4 Mental Health. The Federation’s mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by leveraging relationships and knowledge to build an effective and efficient health and human service system. 1 in 4 Mental Health was in alignment with the goals of The Federation.
The DuPage Federation on Human Services Reform, a non-profit organization has been in existence since 1995. The Federation has six additional programs, in addition to 1 in 4 Mental Health, which benefit the community. These programs include Early Childhood, Language Access Resource Center (LARC), Open Door, Public Benefits Training, Soar and Community Planning. (see http://www.dupagefederation.org/)
The following is a brief biography of each of the members of the 1 in 4 team.
Candace King has served as Executive Director of the DuPage Federation on Human Services Reform since its inception in 1995. The Federation’s mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people in DuPage County by leveraging relationships and knowledge to build an effective and efficient health and human service system. The Federation’s work has focused on development of an effective and efficient health and human service system. It is the convener, facilitator and collaboration manager of several important systems change initiatives. Candace also serves as co-chair for Impact DuPage, a member of the DuPage Health collaborative for the DuPage County Health Department, and was one of 12 women to be awarded Suburban Life 2016 ‘Women of Distinction’. Ms. King’s background includes program development and administrative experience in human services programs in three states, including advocacy and family support programs serving people with disabilities, low income and at risk families, and the elderly. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Arizona and a Bachelor of Arts from Barat College, as well as an interdisciplinary certificate in early intervention from George Mason University and Virginia Institute on Developmental Disabilities
Associate Executive Director and Director of Language Access Resource Center
LARC is responsible for providing interpreter and translation services to many hospitals, schools and human services organizations. Lourdes is the trainer of the LARC 100 Hour Interpreter Training program. Over the last five years, hundreds of bi-lingual individuals have been trained to provide interpreter services. She has also conducted various trainings on Language Access and the Role of the Interpreter and Linguistic and Cultural Competencies. Lourdes took part of the Center for Creative Leadership’s Ladder to Leadership program, sponsored by Community Memorial Foundation, and graduated in December of 2014.
Lourdes is a heritage speaker of Spanish, having spent many childhood summers with family in her mother’s native Columbia. Her background includes extensive sales and marketing experience in business. She received interpreter training from LARC’s first interpreter training program and came to work for LARC in 2006.
Director of Volunteer and Community Relations
Cathy Pierson is the Director of Volunteer and Community Relations at The LeaderShop, a positive youth development organization serving Lyons and southern Proviso Townships.
Cathy attended the University of Iowa and throughout college volunteered for The LeaderShop (formerly Community Extension Project, CEP). Upon graduation she was hired by the organization and has enjoyed well over 30 years helping youth reach their highest potential. Over the years, she has had the privilege of serving in several different capacities and is currently responsible for coordinating volunteers, starting an alumni association and running the Mentoring Program. Cathy is also a certified trainer for Youth Mental Health First Aid Youth Curriculum Training.
Cathy will serve as the 2016-2017 President of the Rotary Club of LaGrange and is also a Board Member the CommUNITY Diversity Group of LaGrange. She is proud to have received several awards throughout her career which include the NAACP Humanitarian Award (1996), the Maasaline Staves Humanitarian Award (1998), The Whispering Oaks Girls Scout Council Woman of Distinction (2003), and the CommUNITY Diversity Group of LaGrange Life Time Achievement Award (2010).
Associate Director of Clinical Services
Through years of experience as a non-profit leader, clinical counselor and entrepreneur, Erica continues to work towards building a community of wellness. Living towards her goal of serving the community she recently opened Dynamic Fusion Counseling and Consulting, a counseling practice built on the philosophy that everyone has the ability to overcome life’s challenges and live the life they desire. Erica is dedicated to serving the community by helping everyday people become the best version of themselves. She treats a range of mental health concerns for individuals, adolescents, children, families and couples.
Erica is also the Associate Director of Clinical Services at Aspire Chicago; Aspire is an innovative organization, devoted to helping people with disabilities reach their full potential. Prior to Aspire, Erica, worked as the Program Director at NAMI DuPage where she was honored to work with individuals diagnosed with mental illness and their family members. During her time at NAMI DuPage she created presentations, developed a Peer Training Program and expanded hospital programming. At NAMI DuPage Erica was given the opportunity to participant in the Center for Creative Leadership’s Ladder to Leadership program, sponsored by Community Memorial Foundation, and graduated in December of 2014.
Erica Sokol is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a driven leader inspired by her family’s experiences in recovery. Erica’s dream is to live, work and create stigma free and healthy communities.
Case Manager of the Domestic Violence Program
Helps survivors and victims of violence be empowered, facilitates their healing process through both individual and group work, and guides them in accessing resources. She serves as an advocate through participation in Berwyn Township Community Mental Health Board, Community Alliance and Community Alliance Immigration Committee. She currently holds a B.A. in Applied Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has completed the 40 Hour Domestic Violence Training and Mental Health First Aid Training (certified in teaching the curriculum in Spanish and English).
Executive Director – South Suburban Family Shelter – MS, CDVP
has held positions in many areas of interpersonal violence prevention and intervention over her 17 year career. She is an accomplished and well regarded trainer with audiences ranging from pre-school children to judges. During her career, she has developed expertise on children exposed to violence, the practice of trauma-informed care and participatory democracy. Her leadership values are compassion, dignity, transparency, respect and diversity. Jennifer holds a BA in Women’s Studies and an MS in Public Service, both from DePaul University.
Resident Services Director
has a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Wisconsin and a Certificate in Gerontology. She specialized in Senior Housing.
Ellen has spent her 30-year career working with seniors (and their families) as they age and move thru the continuum of living independently in their home all the way thru to nursing homes and hospice care.
Ellen is member of Leading Age Illinois and serves on their Assisted Living Cabinet. At Plymouth Place she has had the role of Marketing Director, Assisted Living and Memory Care Director and now Resident Services Director.