Our Background

Mental Health America of the Northern Suburbs was founded in 1965 as the Evanston Mental Health Association (later the Evanston Mental Health Society) by a group of parents and community members concerned about the lack of mental health services in Evanston. Over the years, we have expanded our reach outside Evanston to cover the north shore community, and now we serve an even larger area, the northern suburbs of Chicago.

We are an affiliate of Mental Health America (MHA) and Mental Health America of Illinois (MHAI). MHA is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. As an affiliate, we are part of a network of 200+ organizations around the country who work every day to protect promote mental health and prevent mental illness.

The Mental Health Bell is our symbol. The bell is cast from the shackles and chains that used to bind people with mental illnesses. The Mental Health Bell rings out hope for mental health for everyone.

Cast from shackles which bound them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory over mental illness.
The inscription written on The Mental Health Bell

We are a volunteer-run organization governed by a Board of Directors and supported by a Professional Advisory Board, a Youth Advisory Board, and Business Advisory Board.

Our Mission

Mental Health America of the Northern Suburbs (MHANS) raises awareness and reduces stigma through education and advocacy to promote mental wellness throughout our community.

Our Philosophy

MHANS’ work is driven by its commitment that mental health is a critical part of overall wellness and that everyone would benefit from taking time for their mental health just as they do their physical health.

Our Work

Throughout the year, MHANS offers community and professional education programs on mental health and advocates for policies that support individual and community wellness.

Board of Directors

President – Tracy Levine, LCSW

Treasurer – April Singer, MBA

Secretary – Amber Brookhart, MEd

Allyson Adams, MA

Joyce Bartz, LCSW

Shannon Gibert Boatwright, MS

Meredith Knowles, MA

Brian LaMoreaux, MD

Dorian Matias-Williams, MSW

Constance Paesel, MBA

Paul J. Perry, PhD

Teresa Quinn, MSW

Michelle Rosenberg, BA

Immediate Past President – Josefina Alvarez, PhD

Professional Advisory Board

The Professional Advisory Board helps us stay current on new developments in the field and advises us on our programming. We thank the members of this Board who volunteer their time to support our work:

Kathi Baron, MS, OTR/L, MFA, Yellowbrick Consultation and Treatment Center

Adv. Liron David, BSW, LL.M, Director, International Relations and Development, Enosh – The Israeli Mental Health Association

Norwil (Noy) Frial-Lopez, Psy.D, CADC, Chief Clinical Officer, Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center, Skokie, IL

Ann O. Johnson, Independent Consultant, Evanston, IL

Beth Lindley, LCSW, Director, Human Services, Village of Skokie

Richard Lyon, MA, LCPC, CADC, CAMS-II, Director, MaineStay Youth & Family Services, Park Ridge, IL

Beth Lindley, LCSW, Director, Response for Teens, Chicago, IL

Greta A. Nielsen MA, NCC, LCPC, Illuminate Therapy & Wellness, Palatine, IL

Myrna Orenstein, PhD, Independent Practice, Evanston, IL

Jennifer Pearson, PhD, Director of Special Education, District 225, Glenview, IL

Nirmeen Rajani, PsyD, Psychology Center, Schaumburg, IL

Amanda Rios, PsyD, Center of Relational Empowerment

Rahul Sharma, PsyD, Strategic Consultant, Speaker, Clinical Psychologist

Marsha Smith, LCSW, Independent Practice, Evanston, IL

Sharon Weingarten, MSW, LSW

Business Advisory Board

The Business Advisory Board support our work with their business skills and experience. We thank the members of this board who volunteer their time to support our work:

Alex Glasner, MBA, Coniston Peak/WorkPays

Carmen Korleski, Tawani

Jesse Viner, MD, Yellowbrick