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About Us

At the Center of Mental Health and Hope, we’re more than a building.


Founded in 1951, our mission has remained unchanged over the years.  The Josselyn Center provides affordable mental health services that make lives better for our clients, their families and the community.  Located in Northfield and Park Ridge Illinois, we deliver comprehensive services on a sliding fee scale to help our clients, many of whom are low-income.  The Josselyn Center services include outpatient therapy, psychiatry (including tele-psychiatry), case management, supported employment, wellness, outreach, family resources and a therapeutic summer day camp.  Clients come from more than 60 communities across northern Cook and Lake counties.  The Josselyn Center is the only outpatient psychiatric provider to Medicaid recipients in a 375 square mile area.


The Josselyn Center has been on the cutting edge of mental health care for more than 65 years.

Founded by visionary child psychiatrist Irene M. Josselyn, MD, a pioneer in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry, The Center provided community mental health care to people of all ages long before the term came into vogue. The concept was (and remains) empowering people to stay at home--near school, work, and those who love them--rather than be relegated to higher levels from care away from home. This became more feasible in the 1950s, as new treatments were revolutionizing mental health services.

In 1951, when The Josselyn Center was founded, we were among the first in the nation to encourage a community approach to mental health. Groups like ours helped set the stage for a national movement that culminated in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy created the Community Mental Health Act.

Since then, The Josselyn Center has incubated many first-of-their-kind initiatives and sparked many ground-breaking partnerships. Some programs have gone on to become stand-alone social service providers that are staples of the community. Other activities are now widely established as best-practices. For example:

  • In 1967, the community rallied to build The Center we now occupy, and kicked off a tradition of generous local partnership and support.
  • In the 1970s, The Center was a vibrant force, helping many fledging social service programs take root, including Youth Services of Glenview, Youth Services of Northbrook (which have since merged), Angles, Winnetka Youth Organization, Glencoe Youth Services, Glencoe Jr. High Project, Haven, and the Warming House.
  • In 2011, we opened Illinois' first Living Room to provide a compassionate alternative to the emergency room or jail for people facing a mental health crisis.
  • In 2018, we purchased the adjacent building at 1779 Maple for administrative and development use, thus freeing eight additional offices in our clinical building at 405 Central.

Today, we are proud that it’s a new day at Josselyn! We are launching a growing number of innovative, effective new programs to improve the lives of those we serve:

  • Tele-psychiatry (which uses a secure video link for remote therapy sessions) to increase the number and range of people we can help.
  • A re-engineered intake process so that 97 percent of clients can schedule an appointment the same day they call.
  • Our Josselyn Champions are psychiatrists who donate their time so we can serve more low-income and uninsured people.

Whatever the future brings, The Josselyn Center plans to keep leading the way, bringing quality, affordable mental health services to the 60 communities who rely on us.

In fact, we are Building for Mental Health right now. Our aim is to ensure we have compassionate, effective space for clients to heal, innovative programs, and the resources to survive a financial environment in which government funding is perpetually in jeopardy.

Help us ensure the future remains bright for the clients we serve!

Approach and Impact

The Problem

Mental illness is common, serious, and treatable. Yet, it is not given the funding priority of other medical conditions. Moreover, it remains shrouded in stigma. People affected by mental illness are too often left isolated and misunderstood, with no place to turn for help.


Our Approach

The Josselyn Center provides high quality mental health services. We make the most of every penny, developing innovative, compassionate programs that improve the quality of life for our clients. We work to dispel stigma through education, outreach, and advocacy. Most importantly, we build relationships with individuals, foundations, and other supporters who share our belief that access to mental health care must be a priority in our communities.


  • We serve more than 1,100 individuals and their families each year.
  • 97 percent of our clients pay reduced fees; 59 percent are Medicaid recipients.
  • A few recent accomplishments include:
    1. Partnered with Maine Township to bring psychiatric services to this community in the wake of the sudden closing of The Maine Center,
    2. Opened an Art Therapy program, and re-opened our Drop-In Center and Living Room,
    3. Launched a community outreach program bringing quality care to those who can’t get to The Center,
    4. Re-engineered our intake process so that 97% of clients can schedule an appointment the same day they call, which cleared the decks of waiting lists, and
    5. Started the Josselyn Champions initiative, which enlists psychiatrists to provide pro bono services through The Center to help address the shortage of psychiatric services for low income individuals.
    6. Launched telepsychiatry, which uses secure video links to increase access to this scarce resource.

Our Impact

We’ve been bringing health and hope to our friends and neighbors since 1951. We are proud of our clients, their families, and the ways in which we walk with them.


  • The Josselyn Center is the only provider of psychiatric services for people who use Medicaid in 375 square miles.
  • Our clients come from more than 60 communities, including (in order of number of people served in 2016):
    1. Glenview
    2. Northbrook
    3. Wilmette
    4. Highland Park
    5. Evanston
    6. Northfield
    7. Chicago
    8. Skokie
    9. Deerfield
    10. Wheeling
    11. Highwood
    12. Niles
    13. Winnetka
    14. Des Plaines
    15. Arlington Heights
  • We help students stay in school, adults stay employed, and families stay together.
  • We partner with police, who too often are America’s first line of mental health services, so people in crisis can receive the supportive care they need.
  • Our team of volunteers, donors, and partners is growing exponentially.
  • We help destigmatize mental illness by opening conversations and increasing awareness.

Even so, if everyone helps a little, there is so much more we can do! Check back soon for an update.

The Josselyn Center

405 Central Ave.
Northfield, IL 60093

Phone: 847-441-5600

Fax: 847-441-7968

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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