News from
Community Counseling Centers of Chicago
January 2013 

Message From Our CEO

Dear Friend,  


Welcome to the New Year!   Even without a crystal ball, we foresee a brighter future for people with mental illness in the coming year.


We are excited that the gun control measures proposed by President Obama include Mental Health First Aid, a life-saving training C4 has offered since 2008. Also, the Affordable Care Act will extend mental health coverage to millions of people not currently eligible for Medicaid.


Here at C4, we are excited to play a major role in helping carry out the Williams Consent Decree, making it possible for people living in nursing homes to live independently in the community with dignity and hope. The story of our first Williams consumer is in this issue. I hope you will be as inspired by her story as we are.





Eileen Durkin

President & CEO



A Home of Her Own

  Janice Evers with NIna
Janice (left) with Nina

The holidays were special for Janice Everds. For the first time, she celebrated the New Year in her own apartment.


Last June, Janice became C4's first consumer to be moved under the Williams Consent Decree, which stipulates that Illinois must pay for people with severe mental illness to live in the community. 


Janice, who has been coping with bipolar disorder for much of her adult life, was living in a nursing facility in Old Town when she received a call from C4. 


"A C4 counselor called me and said, 'We'd like to help you move into the community," remembers Janice.  


With the help of C4 caseworker Nina Logan and the rest of her Community Support Team, Janice was able to locate an affordable apartment in Rogers Park.  


For Janice, there is a newfound joy in living independently.


"There is no voice from a loud speaker telling me what to do and when to do it, "she observes.  

A graduate of DePaul University, Janice worked at the Chicago Stock Exchange before her illness cost the young professional her job. She hopes to return to school to become a CNA.


Janice is one of more than 50 former nursing home residents now living in the community, thanks to C4.  Another 40 men and women are now being assessed to determine if they can live on their own.




C4 in the Community  

City Block Named for Tony Kopera!

 Tony's family by new street sign
Tony and Elaine Kopera


December 27 was a great day in Uptown!  While family members, dignitaries and C4 staff cheered, a one-block stretch of Clark Street became Anthony A. Kopera Way, renamed in honor of our former long-time CEO and president.


Dr. Anthony Kopera retired in March 2012 after leading C4 for 32 years, growing it from an outpatient storefront clinic to a $16-million agency with five sites reaching 10,000 adults and children every year.


The City of Chicago officially commissioned street signs to be placed at two intersections along Clark: at Lawrence and Leland, both within several feet of our Clark site.


"You have done so much for the community," observed State Representative Gregory Harris. 

"Many people walking by will see the sign and remember the good you did for their families.  Because of what you did, they're having a better Christmas this year."


Kopera said he was "thrilled," by the honor, but insisted the credit for C4's accomplishment must be shared by staff.


"C4 is a great organization because of the people who work here," he said. "People have always known they can call us when they need us."


Our current CEO Eileen Durkin paid tribute to her predecessor by comparing his nurturing of C4 to parenting, noting his grown son and daughter were present for the unveiling.


"If you've done your job well as a parent, your child will grow up and out into the world," she said. "Your dad did a wonderful job growing this agency, too."


street sign for Tony Kopera

C4 in the News

Uptown is "ground zero" for a  mental health crisis, according to a report in DNAinfo, an online news outlet covering Chicago neighborhoods. Read what C4 Clinical Director Bruce Seitzer had to say on the issue.

In This Issue
Living on Her Own
Anthony A. Kopera Way
C4 in the News
Kindness of Strangers
Parenting Fundamentals Named to National Registry
Join My Mailing List
Connect with C4!
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We'd like to thank the following foundations and corporations that have so generously supported our Parenting Fundamentals program:

Hedge Funds Care: $45,000
WB & HP White Foundation: $5,000
Brunswick Foundation: $2,500
Donnelley Foundation: $1,000

Also, many thanks to the Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust for its $25,000 gift to our general operating fund.


Three C4 families had better holidays thanks to the generosity of a Chicago couple.

Julie Fritz got the idea to reach out from her hospital employer, which sponsors needy families every holiday.  The physician's assistant and her fiance, Travis Lee, live very close to C4 North; the proximity influenced them to reach out and be good neighbors.

"C4 is doing such good work and we decided that some families might need some extra help," said Julie, who donated nearly $2,000 worth of gift cards for three families in need identified by C4 counselors.

One of the families was headed by a single mom who had lived in a homeless shelter with her six children for the past year.

"We're just grateful that we were in the position to do this," observed Julie. "Travis and I have been lucky, and we wanted to pay it forward."


We are so very grateful to all those who donated to our children's holiday fund, our older adult party, and our end of year campaign.  Your generosity put a smile on the faces of many of our neediest children.

Because of you, thirty of our older adults had a fantastic holiday party at Ann Sather's on December 14.

Three party-goers at Ann Sathers
Eveyln, Janis and Cassandra at holiday party.

How You Can Support C4!

Together, we can make sure that treatment is available for all who need it. Here are some ways you can make a difference.

Thank you for making a difference!

Parenting Fundamentals Named to National Registry

PEP in Puerto Rico

We 're very proud that Parenting Fundamentals has been named to the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).


Our group-based parenting education program (formerly   known as PEP), is one of only seven parenting skills programs nationwide listed on the registry maintained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).


Ultimately, the plan is for C4 to become the "go to agency for parenting education and be covered under insurance plans," according to director Katharine Bensinger.   


"We hope to have parenting education covered under the Affordable Care Act and private insurance companies so that every parent has the tools necessary to raise a child," she said.


Since 1996, Parenting Fundamentals has reached more 4,500 low-income Chicago families and 10,000 children. 












Boosting your mental health literacy is a great way to start the New Year!

Register for a Mental Health First Aid Training today.  The 12-hour training take place at 4740 North Clark Street, Chicago, from 9 am to 3 pm.

Here are the first upcoming trainings for 2013:

  • February 7-8
  • March 7-8 


Did you know that President Obama's gun control plan includes funding for Mental Health First Aid? 

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Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4)
4740 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640

773.769.0205  Crisis Line and All Calls

Offering hope and healing to adults and children recovering from mental illness, emotional trauma and substance use.