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Social Work and Community Health Mental Health Services

The Social Work and Community Health mental health team consists of licensed clinical social workers who provide individual and group psychotherapy to adults 18 and older. Our team has compassionate, caring therapists who offer emotional support through challenging situations.

Our therapists provide a nonjudgmental environment and work to recognize and utilize a person’s existing strengths to manage difficult emotions. They have experience working with individuals of diverse ethnic, religious, economic and other backgrounds. Our multicultural and bilingual staff offers services in English and in Spanish.

All of our therapists provide trauma-informed care and offer therapy from different theoretical approaches, including evidence-based practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Common topics addressed:

  • Chronic illnesses
  • Caregiver stress
  • Life transitions
  • Grief and loss
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Trauma
  • Chronic pain
  • Immigration and acculturation
  • Substance use
  • Relationship issues

Patients seeking individual or group psychotherapy can contact the Social Work and Community Health helpline at (800) 757-0202. The helpline is staffed 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by a Patient Care Navigator, who will do a phone intake with the patient before they are connected with a social worker for a brief phone assessment and to provide further details about the services offered. Once a phone assessment is complete, the patient will be put on the wait list if there is one. Referrals and requests are accepted regardless of insurance coverage, though patients’ insurance is billed for participation in the both individual and group psychotherapy (co-payments and co-insurance may apply). As a courtesy, the team will assist with verifying mental health coverage for each individual seeking services.

Individual psychotherapy

Outpatient individual counseling is offered by licensed clinical social workers in English and Spanish for adults (18+). Areas of specialization include adult caregivers with emotional distress related to caregiving, adults with disability or multiple chronic conditions who are experiencing emotional distress related to their health management, and also depression, anxiety, trauma, and adjustment to life changes.

Group psychotherapy

The Emotional Wellness Group for Caregivers is a 12-week psychotherapy group for people who are experiencing mood symptoms (anxiety, depression, adjustment disorder) related to their role as an unpaid caregiver. Some of the major themes covered in the group include emotional exploration and processing; navigating identity transitions; coping with loss and anticipatory grief; and developing mindful awareness to emotional and physical responses to stressors.

Mental health care team

Full-time psychotherapists

Anne West, MA, LCSW

Anne West

Anne West offers outpatient psychotherapy services to adolescents and adults with a range of presentations including mood disorders, childhood and present trauma, loss, and life-transitions. She co-facilitates the Emotional Wellness Psychotherapy Group for Caregivers. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and she is a postgraduate fellow at Womencare Counseling Center, specializing in the relational treatment of trauma. She integrates psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, and mindfulness practices in her work with patients, while grounded in a relational framework. She is available during daytime and limited evening hours.

Diane Fields, MA, LCSW

Diane Fields

Diane Fields received her undergraduate degree in social work from the University of Akron and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago. She  worked for 10 years in the VA system, supporting veterans experiencing substa​​nce abuse issues, trauma, and difficulty adjusting to recent discharges from the military. She also has extensive experience in working with older adults and their caregivers regarding the issues associated with the aging process. Fields uses a psychodynamic approach, along with cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness practices in her work. She is available during daytime hours.

Maggie Skoller, MSW, LCSW

Maggie Skoller is a licensed clinical social worker with a master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago. Offering psychotherapy services to those ages 12 and older, Skoller strives to provide an open, non-judgmental space to collaborate with individuals in tackling life’s many challenges. Rooted in a strengths-based perspective, she is experienced with depression, anxiety, grief, chronic illness, aging, end of life issues, as well as complex family dynamics, caregiver stress, and adjustment to life transitions. Skoller is available during daytime hours.

Part-time psychotherapists

Ellen Carbonell, MSW, LCSW

Ellen Carbonell is the coordinator of resource centers and a clinical lead in the Department of Social Work and Community Health at Rush University Medical Center. She brings years of experience working with chronic illnesses, caregiver support and clinical work as she develops and oversees Resource Center programs for patients and caregivers, provides clinical consultation, and sees patients in individual psychotherapy. Trained as a clinical social worker, and utilizing psychodynamic, self-psychology, and mindfulness perspectives, Carbonell has over 30 years of experience working with individual and family treatment and support programs in mental health, substance abuse, vocational, educational, clergy and voluntary health care settings. She is an adjunct faculty member in the graduate school of social work at Loyola University and in the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences at Rush. Carbonell is available during daytime hours.

Sarah Chen, MA, LCSW

Sarah Chen

Sarah Chen is a licensed clinical social worker with more than nine years of experience working with adults with chronic diseases, older adults and caregivers. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration with a concentration in older adult studies. She offers outpatient psychotherapy services to patients with mood disorders including depression and anxiety, new or changing medical conditions, disability, life transitions, caregiver stress, loss and grief. She most frequently incorporates interpersonal therapy, mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy into her work with patients. She also cofacilitates the monthly Friends and Family of People with Memory Loss Support Group at Rush. Chen is available during daytime hours.

Elizabeth Cummings, MSW, LCSW

Elizabeth Cummings received her undergraduate degree in psychology from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and holds a master’s degree in social work from DePaul University in Chicago. She provides clinical social work services across the continuum of health care, focusing on adults experiencing emotional distress in dealing with chronic medical conditions as well as for individuals experiencing relationship issues or difficult life transitions. Cummings offers therapy through the lenses of interpersonal therapy, relational cultural theory and motivational interviewing. Cummings is available during daytime hours.

Eve Escalante, MSW, LCSW

Eve Escalante

Eve Escalante is a licensed clinical social worker. She completed her Bachelor and Master of Social Work degrees at Loyola University Chicago with a concentration in social work in health care settings. She has experience working with adults and older adults facing chronic diseases and disabilities as well as end-of-life concerns. Escalante also has experience working with caregivers. She is comfortable with the integration of the patient’s spiritual orientation/practices into psychotherapy. She most frequently integrates the use of interpersonal therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy into her work. Escalante is bilingual and is able to offer services in English and Spanish. She is available during daytime hours.

Brian (Tucker) Eads, MA, LSW

Brian (Tucker) Eads

Tucker Eads provides outpatient psychotherapy to adolescents and adults facing a variety of challenges, including depression, anxiety, illness, caregiver stress, and life transitions. His work with individuals draws on acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and mindfulness practice. Eads received his master’s in clinical social work from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. He is currently completing a postgraduate fellowship in contextual behavior therapy at the Emotion Management Program. Eads is available during daytime hours.

Stacey Jirik, MSW, LCSW

Stacey Jirik

Stacey Jirik received her undergraduate degree in social work from the University of Iowa and holds a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago. She specialized in gerontology in both her undergraduate and graduate studies. Stacey offers psychotherapy services to adults and older adults utilizing a strengths-based, eclectic approach to therapy. She has experience working with individuals experiencing a variety of concerns, including life transitions, caregiver stress, depression, anxiety, and new or changing medical conditions. She is available during limited evening hours.

Rebecca Lahey, MSW, LCSW

Rebecca Lahey is a licensed clinical social worker who received her graduate degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago and continued to develop her psychotherapy practice during a post-graduate psychotherapy fellowship at Rush University Medical Center, primarily using cognitive behavioral or interpersonal therapeutic lenses. She now manages the mental health services offered by the department while maintaining direct practice as a therapist and clinical supervisor.​ She approaches therapy from a strengths-based perspective to work towards goals identified by the patient in a collaborative way. She works with patients to hear their concerns without judgment to explore ways to achieve emotional growth and develop skills as an individual to better manage life’s stressors and achieve desired changes. Her specializations include trauma, depression, anxiety, adjustment to major life transitions, and interpersonal or relationship difficulties. Additionally, she brings experience working with diverse populations and practices with culturally sensitive lens. Lahey is available during daytime hours.

Samantha Lunde, AM, LSW

Samantha Lunde received her undergraduate degrees in psychology and women’s and gender studies from the University of Nebraska. She received her Master’s in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago, with a certificate in older adult studies. Lunde has experience with older adults and caregivers, individuals living with chronic disease, and survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. She integrates cognitive behavioral, strengths-based, and acceptance and commitment therapies when working collaboratively with clients. Lunde is currently pursuing a certificate in horticulture therapy from the Chicago Botanic Gardens. She is available during daytime hours.

Michele Packard, MA, LCSW

Michele Packard

Michele Packard is a licensed clinical social worker. She received her master’s training at the School of Social Service Administration with a clinical concentration in the Hartford Geriatric Leadership Fellowship Program. Packard has experience in working with older adults and people living with epilepsy and developmental disability around bereavement, caregiver stress, psychogenic nonepileptic events, depression, anxiety, domestic violence and spiritual crisis. She practices with cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, family systems, trauma-informed and humanistic perspectives. Packard is available during daytime hours.

Ethan Powe, MSW, LCSW

Ethan Powe

Ethan Powe attended Loyola University Chicago’s Graduate School of Social Work, specializing in mental health and clinical social work with older adults. His areas of experience and specialty include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, brief treatment, grief, and treating patients who are managing multiple chronic conditions. Powe is available during daytime and limited evening hours.

Yessenia Servin, MSW, LCSW

Yessenia Servin is a licensed clinical social worker with a master’s degree from Aurora University. She is bilingual and currently offers services in Spanish. Servin has experience working with individuals experiencing a variety of concerns, including trauma, depression, anxiety, life transitions, caregiver stress, and immigration. She offers psychotherapy services to adults and older adults and most frequently incorporates interpersonal therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and strengths-based approach. She is currently available during daytime hours and limited evening hours.

Matthew Vail, MA, LCSW

Matthew Vail

Matthew Vail holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. Vail is a relational therapist, which means that he believes a full life comes from learning how to have mutually enriching relationships with others. He practices from an integrative approach with groundings in psychodynamic theory. He also integrates mindfulness and other experiential techniques, because sometimes words are not enough. He has experience working with adults across the lifespan who struggle with a variety of challenges, including depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, and substance use. He has special expertise in working with individuals who identify as part of the LGBTQ community. He is available during daytime hours.

Cydney Stein, MSW, LCSW

Cydney Stein

Cydney Stein received her undergraduate degree from Loyola University Chicago where she was a Provost Fellow studying infant development and cognition. Following this, she received her master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago with a specialization in mental health and older adults. She has experience working in health care with interprofessional teams and with individuals of diverse ethnic, religious, economic, and other backgrounds both in the inpatient and outpatient settings. She offers outpatient psychotherapy services to patients with mood disorders including depression and anxiety, trauma, chronic pain, life transitions, loss, and grief. Stein is available during daytime and limited evening hours.

Alexandria "Ali" Vernasco, MSW, LCSW

Ali Vernasco is a licensed clinical social worker and has experience working with adults 18 and older. She completed her masters in social work from Loyola University with a specialization in mental health. She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as hospice and palliative pare. Vernasco uses a variety of clinical methods to fit the needs of her patients to address depression, anxiety, grief and loss, chronic illness and managing life-transitions. She is available during daytime hours.

Danielle Wolf, MA, LCSW

Danielle Wolf

Danielle Wolf received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. She currently works as an outpatient social worker on the Collaborative Care Team and has experience working with individuals age 12 and older. She has experience offering outpatient psychotherapy services through a brief cognitive behavioral therapeutic approach with pediatrics, adults and older adults. Through her therapeutic intervention, Wolf integrates cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness practices into her work with individuals with a range of presentations including mood disorders, loss, life transitions, and history of trauma. Wolf is available during daytime and limited evening hours.

For additional support in your area, please call (800) 757-0202 to speak with a Rush social worker. If you find yourself in immediate danger of harming yourself or others, before exploring the information below, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.