aAssistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes and Senator Laura Ellman co-hosted a free Mental Wellness Fair at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville this week. More than two dozen people attended to talk with a range of organizations providing resources for people with all issues and different needs.

“This past year was tough on many of us,” Holmes said. “It is essential that we help provide our community with information about how to address their mental health needs and find tools to make adjustments in their lives for the better.”

Organizations present for the event provide services for children and families and address issues such as substance abuse and domestic violence.

“It is vitally important that people have access to mental health services,” Ellman said. “I am grateful that our event helped connect members of our community with incredible organizations offering helpful and life-saving resources.”

The senators expressed their gratitude to those who helped connect participants with needed services.

  • 360 Youth: provide counseling and housing for youth experiencing homelessness with a focus on LGBTQ+ youth, provide rapid rehousing program in DuPage County
  • Connect For Life: operated by Naperville Police, aims to reduce the impact of addiction
  • Family Focus: provides family support services including but not limited to early childhood home visits, group sessions, more
  • Linden Oaks Behavioral Health: provide behavioral and mental health services, inpatient and outpatient treatment plus recovery programs
  • Metropolitan Family Services: provide and mobilize services needed to strengthen families and communities
  • Mutual Ground: Aurora-based organization serving victims of sexual and domestic violence, counseling residential services and a 24-hour hotline
  • NAMI DuPage: provide support, advocacy and education to improve the quality of life of individuals with mental illnesses and their families
  • Samara Care: Chicagoland area counseling services to anyone regardless of ability to pay
  • Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s Office: information on federally funded health and mental health programs
  • IL Department of Human Services
  • Will County Office of Substance Use Initiative

7618634830 a6ecc4e5ea bNAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is bringing attention to the many benefits of public parks and other natural spaces in celebration of National Park and Recreation Month.

“Parks and other public spaces in our community give everyone a place to gather and enjoy being outdoors,” Ellman said. “After the difficulties of the pandemic, this Park and Recreation Month is a wonderful opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature.”

According to the National Recreation and Park Association, parks play an important role in maintaining quality of life in a community. Parks provide gathering places for members of a community to interact with each other, host public events and offer recreational programs.

Additionally, parks provide a public place where people can go to keep healthy and fit. A Penn State University study showed that the length of visits to parks has a connection with reductions in stress, lowered blood pressure, and perceived physical health.

Parks also provide an economic benefit to their communities. A review by Texas A&M University found that parks and open space raise nearby property values and increase revenue from tourism. Trees and other growth are also estimated to save cities money in environmental impacts and the effects of storms.

“Parks are a wonderful part of our communities,” Ellman said. “I hope that local residents will take this opportunity to appreciate the parks, trails and other outdoor spaces in our area.”

Learn more about local parks and public events by visiting the park district websites for Naperville, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield and Lisle.

Holmes Ellman Mental WellnessNAPERVILLE – Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) and Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) will be hosting a free mental wellness fair on Monday, July 19 to help local residents access important mental health services.

“This past year was tough on many of us,” Holmes said. “It is essential that residents have the information required to address their mental health needs and find tools to make adjustments in their lives.”

The mental wellness fair will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. at Neuqua Valley High School, located at 2360 95th St. in Naperville. Several groups will be present at the fair to address residents’ specific mental health needs, including:
• 360 Youth
• Connect For Life
• Family Focus
• IL Department of Human Services
• Linden Oaks
• Metro Family Services
• Mutual Ground
• NAMI DuPage
• Samara Care
• Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s Office
• Will County Office of Substance Use Initiative

“Ensuring that people have access to mental health services is incredibly important,” Ellman said. “This event offers a great opportunity to connect with incredible organizations offering helpful and even life-saving resources right here in our community.”

Attendees will be required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status, and social distancing guidelines will be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For more information, residents can reach out to Leader Holmes’ office by visiting her website or calling 630-820-8650. Senator Ellman’s staff is also available through her website or by calling 630-601-9961.

01132021HAO3644SPRINGFIELD – Illinois firefighters will be able to worry less about their retirement under a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that was signed into law on Friday.

“This law creates a level playing field for all of Illinois’ firefighters,” Ellman said. “Prior law failed to address an oversight that would have caused hundreds of firefighters to lose out on time they’ve served when they retire.”

Previously, firefighters outside of Chicago who began work after 2011 were not allowed to purchase service credit after changing employers. The new law ensures all firefighters can purchase service credit if they move to a new employer who is covered by a different fire pension fund.

Members of a pension system earn service credits for time they’ve worked. A purchased service credit is an additional amount of service that pension system participants can purchase – or essentially move from one pension system to another – that can be used to calculate the amount a person will receive when they retire.

Many firefighters outside of Chicago can purchase credit when they switch employers, so their service at their prior employer will be factored into their retirement earnings. For example, a firefighter who moves from Peoria to Rockford might purchase their time in Peoria to move it to the Rockford system.

“Our firefighters risk their lives every day to protect our communities,” Ellman said. “This law will ensure they receive all the benefits they have earned and deserve when it comes time for them to retire.”

Senate Bill 167 is effective immediately.

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Contact Info

District Office
475 River Bend Rd., Suite 500
Naperville, IL 60540
Phone: (630) 601-9961

Springfield Office
M113 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-8192