First Responder & Front Line Employee Support

EMS, Fire, and Police frequently experience high levels of stress and anxiety related to work responsibilities. This is also true of front line healthcare workers in both medical and behavioral fields.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has only added to these responsibilities and many of these individuals are now unsure of how to cope or look for signs they may need additional support.

Lynette Hickey, Sam Gehrig, and Tript Bajwah discuss what these added pressures may look like and what can be done to help.

Additionally, Silver Oaks is now providing a weekly virtual support group led by a licensed therapist for first responders and front line healthcare workers. The group provides a network of support and understanding of the difficult situations that often arise in these roles.

For more information or to schedule an assessment, please call 844-580-5000 or visit

Maintaining Mental and Physical Health

Our Chief Nursing Officer recently sat down with our Program Director to discuss how we can maintain both our physical and mental health during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

As shelter in place restrictions begin to lift, it is important to remain vigilant and follow CDC recommendations to reduce the potential for virus transmission. For those returning to work, there will be small adjustments we should all consider.

For those who have been isolating at home by themselves, or even with family or roommates, there are signs we should look for in determining whether to seek mental health treatment.

For more information or to schedule an assessment, please call 844-580-5000.

Youth & Family at Home During COVID

Our Chief Medical Officer recently sat down with Katie Hoye, Director of Social Services at Silver Oaks Hospital, to discuss what life might be like for families sheltering in place at home. In this short video, they discuss common behaviors and strategies families can utilize to maintain mental health including:

  • Maintaining or creating structure
  • Balancing work commitments for parents and eLearning for children
  • Acknowledging and validating children’s concerns
  • Identifying red flags for mental health concerns
  • Recognizing when parents should seek help for themselves or their family



For more information or to schedule and assessment, please call 844-580-5000.

Maternal Mental Health

As we observe Mental Health Awareness month, it is important to recognize that events with the COVID-19 pandemic put those coping with mental illness at an increased risk. This can be especially true for mothers. If signs and symptoms go unnoticed or untreated, they can result in tragic and long-term consequences to mothers, children, and fathers alike.

Women are often saddled with the everyday responsibilities of ensuring the physical and emotional needs of their families are met. While these activities can be rewarding, this does not leave much time or energy for self-care.

In times of trial, women turn to family members or other mothers for support. However, when isolation is not a choice, it can feel overwhelming and paralyzing. In the case of past trauma or grief, isolation can be a trigger.

So what can someone do in this situation?

  • Acknowledge you are feeling lonely and depressed.
  • Make it a point to get outside every day, to be in nature and see other signs of human life.
  • Set up video calls with family and close friends.
  • Reach out to a therapist when you may need the extra support.


Silver Oaks Hospital has a program especially designed for women from all backgrounds and situations. Our team has specialty training related to trauma, depression, anxiety, and PTSD as they apply to women.

If you or a loved one are struggling, please reach out.

For more information, please call (844) 580-5000.

A Nurse in Behavioral Health

Nurses are often the people patients interact with most in any hospital setting. They play an important role within the treatment team and often provide both physical and emotional support for patients and their families.

Veronica Hughes, Chief Nursing Officer of Silver Oaks, reminisces on why she chose to become a nurse, “I always had an interest in the medical field. Being able to help others when they are at their highest need is rewarding. Especially when there is a positive outcome and the patient makes gains in their health”.

Particularly when it comes to mental health, nurses take on additional responsibilities that may not be typical for a medical floor nurse. Many people receiving mental health treatment may not have the support of family or friends. Veronica elaborates on one these additional responsibilities, “Advocacy. Many of our patients are unable to advocate for themselves either due to their disease process or because they have limited means. It is our job to ensure the best possible outcome for our patient to be successful once they are out of the hospital”.

Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital is very fortunate to have a team of qualified and caring nurses to ensure our patients and their families receive the support they need to be successful once they leave our hospital. “Our nurses are compassionate, smart, and want the very best for their patients. They are not only aware of the psychiatric needs of their patients; they are fantastic at identifying their medical needs as well. They advocate for their patients during their course of treatment and are kind and caring individuals. You could not ask for a better group of individuals to provide for the mental health needs of community”.

Our patients get to experience this kind and dedicated care throughout their stay. We are so thankful to our team of nurses!

For more information about our programs, or to schedule a free mental health assessment, please call (844) 580-5000.

Perspectives on COVID-19

Scott Hullinger, CEO of Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital, recently sat down with our Chief Medical Officer and Co-Medical Director to discuss the additional symptoms of COVID-19 introduced by the CDC. They also discuss how to speak with children about the pandemic and how to recognize when it might be time to seek mental health help for others or ourselves.

Watch their conversation below.

Silver Oaks provides free mental health assessments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call now for more information: (844) 580-5000

Senior Adults and Coping with COVID-19 Stress & Anxiety

Feelings of increased stress and anxiety are common during a pandemic. Older adults in particular may experience these feelings at an enhanced level as the consequences from contracting COVID-19 are proving to be more severe for this age group.

These feelings can be overwhelming and create strong emotions. For seniors living independently at home, it can be difficult to cope with these feelings as social isolation prevent many from receiving the support from family and friends they are used to. Technology provides a way to communicate and stay in touch with loved ones; some seniors may not be comfortable using it and are left to cope on their own.

Seniors at home can utilize some of the following measures to address their mental and physical health during the pandemic:

Daily Movement

  • Walk around your house
  • Walk around your neighborhood (maintain physical distance from others)
  • Sit down and stand up from a stable chair to keep your legs strong
  • Dance to your favorite music

Healthy Eating

  • Add more color to your plate by eating fruits and vegetables
  • Minimize sugary treats or processed foods
  • Drink plenty of water

Stay Connected

  • Speak regular by phone with friends and family
  • Speak with neighbors from your porch
  • Video calls from smart phones, tablets, or computers

The senior community will feel the impacts from COVID-19 for quite some time once the pandemic is over. If the fear, anxiety, or depression worsen for you or a loved one, it’s okay to ask for help.

The Monarch Program at Silver Oaks Hospital offers unique help and support for seniors and their families. Calls are confidential and are available at no cost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call today to speak with someone who can help: (844) 580-5000

Stress & Coping During COVID-19

The outbreak of the corona virus, known as COVID-19, may be stressful for people of all ages. Fear, anxiety, and uncertainty are all natural reactions. When these feelings become overwhelming, they can cause strong emotions in adolescents, adults, and senior adults. Learning how to manage this stress will make you, those you care about, and our community stronger.

Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital specializes in the treatment of these strong emotions. Whether receiving care in our inpatient or outpatient programs, our clinicians utilize evidence-based treatment models to ensure you or your loved ones, are prepared to cope.

Common signs of stress during a pandemic include:

  • Changes in eating or sleep patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health concerns
  • Worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco

Those who have existing mental health concerns are at an elevated risk for a crisis. Recognizing these signs and symptoms is critical in ensuring someone gets the help they need in a timely manner.

Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital is open and accepting patients into all levels of care. We take the health and safety of our patients, their families, and our staff very seriously and we have implemented all screening guidelines provided by the CDC and local health officials.

We now offer telehealth assessments and Intensive Outpatient services online. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 844-580-5000.

Covid-19 Update for Patients, Visitors, and Guests

We remain open 24/7 and our full range of mental health and addiction services are available.

We understand the importance of seeing loved ones receiving care, and we know the value visitors bring to our patients. However, given the concern about COVID-19 and the recommendations by the CDC, we are limiting outside visitors to reduce the risk of infection in our hospital. We ask that visitors adhere to these restrictions so that we can maintain the safest possible environment for everyone.

Effectively Immediately: We are temporarily canceling all visitation and non-essential onsite meetings and tours. We encourage patients and their families to communicate through phone and video chat.   Details for video chat will be provided. We will also increase the times patients have for phone use.

When it becomes necessary to visit the facility all individuals will be screened for temperature reading and questioning about illness or contact with any corona virus patient. This includes patient visitors, deliveries, scheduled and unscheduled visits by anyone.

As we implement these safeguards it is also important to remember that each of us has a role to play in keeping ourselves and others healthy. Wash your hands thoroughly. Avoid touching your hands to your face. Limit close contact with people who are sick. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Take care of yourself.

We thank you for your support in ensuring the safety of our patients and staff.

And, please remember this can take a toll on our mental health.  We will continue to provide a no charge assessment to help all ages through this difficult time. Call 24-7.


Additional Resources


Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital Observes One Year Anniversary

As Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital marks our first year of service in Will County, we would like to thank the community for your overwhelming support as we’ve worked to provide mental health and substance use treatment services to our most vulnerable population.

Over the last year, Silver Oaks expanded treatment from senior adults to adults and eventually adolescents. This has included several specialty programs including a women’s inpatient treatment program, a men’s inpatient treatment program, an adolescent inpatient treatment program, inpatient chemical detoxification, outpatient dual diagnosis treatment, adult partial hospitalization program and an adolescent partial hospitalization program.

These services were created based on needs identified by our community partners and we are excited to continue to grow our offerings to support the mental health of our community at large. More programs will be developed and introduced as we continue to respond to the greatest needs.

Our goal remains the same—to provide outstanding care delivered by compassionate people while providing unparalleled service. As we enter our second year of service. We hope your support continues as we work together to bring quality mental health and substance use treatment services to our community.