What's Happening at Stepping Stones: May 2023

Flashback to 1986: The Top 20 hit song, Timbuk3's "The Future's So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades)" is playing on the radio. With a catchy tune, the band proclaims, "things are going great, and they're only getting better… the future's so bright, I gotta wear shades."

It's 2023. Stepping Stones of Rockford is growing leaps and bounds, with new hires, new programs, and new residential opportunities. Thanks to numerous grants, the community's support, and the agency's dedicated, forward-thinking employees, we can honestly say the future's so bright, we've gotta wear shades!

Mental Health Awareness Month is the perfect time to raise awareness about the agency's treatment opportunities in Rockford Area/Winnebago County. We're home grown and staying local!

New Staff—the future is here. Stepping Stones of Rockford's program and site expansion has required the hiring of many new employees. These people represent the future of Stepping Stones—and, we know the future is now! We welcome Rosey, our Admission and Transition Coordinator; Luke, Associate Director of Services; Samantha, Supervisor of Community Support Services team; Jacoda, Supervisor of Community Support Groups; outpatient therapists Christopher, Ashlee, Michelle; Franca, outpatient office manager; Brenda; Rehabilitation Supervisor; Max, Buildings and grounds; and, numerous mental health professionals and Rehabilitative Service Associates. And yes, we are still hiring people at this time. Check out our jobs on the website or Indeed. Welcome to the future!

Existing Staff—the foundation of the agency. The future obviously isn't only about new staff. The agency's existing staff is the foundation of the agency and vital to the future. Because of their decades of experience, expansion and improvement is possible. We can't thank them enough—and, we can't do it without them. The photo below features employees who have been with the agency for TWENTY FIVE years. Thank you, Brad, Nikki, Chris, Judy, Joann and Randy. Because of staff who have been with us over the years, we can say things are going great-- and, with their help, things are getting better!

Recently, the agency created "The Alliance for Teamwork, Engagement, Appreciation and Morale," (aka the A-Team). The committee is made up of "passionate individuals from various departments of the company who are committed to improving employee engagement and building stronger relationships among colleagues. Together, we will work on a range of initiatives to promote a sense of community within the organization." Thanks to committee members Racquell, Bonnie, Felice, Jacqueline, Kari, Katie, Shawna, Nikeya, Rochelle, Sarah and Tasha for ensuring staff feel the love and keep our foundation strong. 

New Program—Community Support Services (CSS) Team. Thanks to a federal grant, Stepping Stones of Rockford has implemented a Community Support Services (CSS) team. Samantha, Jake, Kenny, Audrey, and Joey are out and about, ensuring access to mental health services for those in need. The team provides recovery and resiliency oriented, intensive, community-based rehabilitation and outreach services, designed to meet the treatment needs of persons served. In other words, they're taking it to the streets!

New Group Home—more opportunity for residential treatment. Rockford and the surrounding area are in desperate need of more residential mental health treatment opportunities for those with mental illness such as schizophrenia. Thanks to your half-penny and the WCCMHB, we recently purchased a building to provide residential treatment. Once the building is refreshed and repairs are completed, we'll be able to expand residential mental health services to adults with serious mental illness in our area. We're chipping away at that very lengthy waiting list. Of course, this means we'll need even MORE staff! The future is a very busy place, with many new faces--coordinating efforts with exceptional seasoned staff.

New Group Home, from the Ground Up! One of the most exciting adventures at Stepping Stones is WCCMHB grant funding to build a group home—from the ground up! Ten adults with serious mental illness will have the chance to take part in residential treatment at the new location. A brand-new building means more clients, more staff, more treatment… and, a shorter waiting list. It is a project which allows us to design a home specifically for the needs of those we serve. Every detail is in consideration. 

Refreshing existing sites. We have group homes, apartment complexes and offices to keep well-maintained. Our Buildings and Grounds Crew is always busy. To help with upkeep, "River North," an apartment complex home to 44 clients ages 50 and older, is getting a fresh coat of paint, addressing numerous repair needs and installing new flooring. We want to provide our clients with the most comfortable, safe, inviting living spaces possible. This project will do exactly that.

Expanding Outpatient Opportunities. The Counseling Center on Maray Drive has been a huge success; so much in fact that we already need to expand. We look forward to continued growth in outpatient services. Sense a theme? We need more staff and space as we serve more clients! 

Teamwork. Like the agency's "A-Team," Mental Health Awareness Month reminds us that it takes teamwork to provide quality, trauma-based outpatient and residential mental health services—persons served, agency staff and the community all play a role in the recovery process. We hope you'll join us as we expand treatment opportunities, provide mental health services, employ staff and bust stigma. 

Don your sunglasses. It's about to get VERY bright in here!


Stepping Stones of Rockford: Improving Lives One Step at a Time. Providing premiere residential services for adults with serious mental illness since 1969.

Stepping Stones Outpatient Counseling Center provides compassionate, trauma-informed, value-based community mental health services to individuals and families facing mental and behavioral health barriers in Winnebago County. Mental Health Treatment Services and Case Management offered at the Center expand and enhance mental health recovery options in Winnebago County. The goal is to provide children, adolescents and adults with serious mental illness and serious emotional disturbances with Mental Health Treatment including Diagnostic Evaluation, Supportive Counseling, Medication Management and Case Management services in an individual, group or family setting."

ABOUT WCCMHB – The purpose of the Winnebago County Community Mental Health Board (WCCMHB) is to plan, implement, and monitor a system of mental health and addiction services for Winnebago County residents suffering from serious mental illness and addictions. WCCMHB distributes sales tax proceeds to provide services to individuals whose illnesses prevent their functioning in age-appropriate social roles. The use of clinical, evidence-based practices allows individuals with serious mental illness and addictions to remain in the community while accessing their care needs.

ABOUT RPC – Region 1 Planning Council is a special-purpose, regional government agency providing cross jurisdictional, government-to-government collaborative planning for Northern Illinois. The regional planning model provides an efficient means to promoting a well-informed, comprehensive dialogue that holistically addresses regional issues by fulfilling the needs of government entities for long-range planning, securing funding, and analyzing and providing data in support of regional projects and initiatives. The Region 1 Planning Council provides staff support to the Winnebago County Community Mental Health Board. Questions may be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gratitude: A Message and Appeal from Our CEO
Mental Health Awareness Month 2023

                         Stepping Stones of Rockford, Inc.                     

Residential and Supported Services          Outpatient Counseling Center      
706 N. Main Street                                         4317 Maray Drive 
Rockford, IL 61103                                         Rockford, IL 61107
815.963.0683                                                  779.970.5605

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