News Article Details

Eating recovery, behavioral health facility for children to open in Northbrook

Pioneer Press Newspapers - 7/3/2019

As industry professionals report that some behavioral and mental disorders affecting children are on the rise, a 36-bed treatment facility is set to open this month in Northbrook.

The third floor of the approximately 35,000 square foot building at the corner of Lake Cook and Saunders roads has been reconstructed into a treatment facility for children between 10 to 17 years old with eating, mood, anxiety or trauma-related disorders, said Elizabeth Curran, clinical director of child and adolescent services.

The facility will likely open July 15.

The facility is a partnership between Eating Recovery Center, a Colorado-based company that treats eating disorders, and Chicago-based Insight Behavioral Health Centers, which treats mood, anxiety and trauma-related disorders, said Susan McClanahan, founder of Insight Behavioral Health Centers.

The Eating Recovery Center Insight Behavioral Health facility held an open house on June 27 to let the public tour the space. The open house included such guests as state Sen. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, Rebecca Steinfort, president of Eating Recovery Center and Insight, and McClanahan.

"We need to take away the stigma of mental health," Fine said. "We have gotten a lot of laws on the books in the past couple of years to take away the stigma and to make sure that mental health is treated the same as physical health."

In recent years, professionals have noticed an increase in eating disorders in children, beginning as young as 7 years old, said McClanahan, a clinical psychologist who has specialized in eating disorders.

The increase in eating disorders can be attributed to pressure, because eating "feels like something you can control when the world feels so out of control," she said.

"I keep hoping with eating disorders that it's going to get better and better but it just gets worse and worse," McClanahan said.

Similarly, there has been an increase in mood disorders in teenagers with the surge in technology and social media, as well as a lack of sleep, she said.

"It really is since people have had an iPhone in their hand and the impact of social media," McClanahan said. "Certainly, people don't post when they're not doing well so it looks like everyone has this great life and you don't."

The third floor of the facility will hold single, double or triple rooms that will be set up dorm-style. In double or triple spaces, patients will be paired close to age and gender, Curran said.

There will also be yoga and fitness rooms, a classroom and different rooms for group therapy, Curran said. The facility will have an education specialist on staff to work with the patients on assignments from their home schools.

Therapists, psychiatrists, physicians and dietitians will be on staff, she said. And a zen room will allow patients to be alone and regroup, if needed.

The facility will be family-inclusive, with patient visiting hours. On average, youth being treated will stay in the center for 30 to 45 days, Curran said.

"We expect the space will be used both locally, for families in the Chicagoland and suburb area, but, in addition, because of its proximity to O'Hare, could also be a nationally accessed program," Curran said. "There's a lot of states along our boarders that don't have the same access to facilities like this."

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