Health & Medical

Whiteside County Health Department Celebrates May as Mental Health Month


Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among people ages 15-44. Yet, two-thirds of people with depression do not actively seek nor receive proper medical treatment.

“There are are a lot of symptoms of depression: feeling sad, a loss of energy, hopelessness,” says says Whitney Miller, Whiteside County Health Department licensed clinical social worker. “It can be situational. However, if you continue to feel these symptoms for at least two weeks and it’s encompassing the majority of your life in areas such as difficulty sleeping and eating, and it’s affecting your work or relationships, you may have depression or a serious mood disorder.”

Whiteside County Health Department Behavioral Health staffs eight licensed clinicians who provide counseling services for all mental health concerns and issues for all ages.

“We offer a therapist-led pain management group and recovery skills group,” Miller says, adding that depression can increase physical pain and the chances of someone’s taking substances to subside the symptoms of their depression. “There’s an increased risk of suicide if depression is untreated,” says Miller.

Depression can look different in everyone, depending on age and gender. Children may refuse to go to school. They may be worried about their parent leaving them or dying. Older children may get into trouble at school. Hormones may be linked to depression in women. Men may lose interest in activities or begin behaving recklessly. Many men fail to seek help with depression. “There’s a lot of stigma related to mental health,” Miller says.

Treatment is individual based. Patients meet with a clinician and take an assessment, then begin an individualized treatment plan based on their diagnosis.

“We also treat opiate and alcohol addition,” Miller says. “We use mediation combined with psychotherapy to enhance the patient’s recovery.”

Beth Fiorini, Public Health Administrator, states, “Besides individual therapy, the clinic does group therapy, court mandated domestic violence groups, Medication Assisted Treatment for opioids and alcohol, works with April House to treat sexually molested children and has a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who does medication management.” The Health Department takes private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and has County 708 funds to assist patients with no payment source. Charges are based on a sliding fee income scale.

Whiteside County Health Department: 1300 W. 2nd St, Rock Falls, IL 61071

815.626.2230 (p) : 815-626-2231 (f) :