Blue H.E.L.P Illinois

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Here at the IL chapter we will be looking to help families heal after the death by suicide and offer education to departments on the stresses of mental health with guidance to help their officers. We will also take the initiative to help change policies at the departments on mental health and required counseling quarterly. If an officer is placed on administrative leave, I would like to see more support with the goal of getting them back to work.

– Christy

 

Christy Lister

Christy Lister

Illinois State Representative

Christy Lister a mother of three children and former wife of a police officer, who after 25 years at the police department died by suicide in June of 2019. Christy is passionate about speaking up on mental health for police officers, first responders and their families, while advocating for changes within the mental health polices amongst the departments. Christy has been working with active/retired officers and their families providing education to allow them to understand that mental health is not a matter that should be overlooked or shunned as it has been in the past

Christy is a founding board member of a local non-for-profit, The Harvesting Hope Project, that allows First Responders and their families to come together in a safe and private rural setting.

Email: christy@bluehelp.org

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Your donation will be used to assist officers and families in Illinois. Blue H.E.L.P. Illinois will also assist in border states without a resource as needed.

Illinois State Team

Carie Johnstone

Carie Johnstone

Carie Johnstone has been in the field of social work for the past 23 years. She has served in the capacities of crisis intervention, child and family welfare, community mental health, school social work, and private practice. Her passion in the field in mental and behavioral health, family systems, LGBTQ+, academia, policy, PTSD and trauma have led her to being a university instructor for the past 15 years along with administration positions and offering consultative supports and services. Carie spent 7 years as a school district administrator of a large unit district in Will County in which she oversaw social emotional and behavior supports along with Special Education and Section 504. Currently, Carie is a co-owner of a group counseling practice with office in Lombard with multiple counseling contracts in Will, DuPage, and Cook Counties. Carie’s professional memberships and collaborative relational strengths has brought her to a legislative appointment Board Member to the Illinois Community and Residential Services Authority (CRSA) & IL Adolescent Suicide Prevention Alliance (ISPA) which supports children and adolescents with mental health needs in the communities to help strengthen policies in Illinois. Her mission in life is to support the healing journey of others so they can live a purposeful life. She graduated from Lewis University, IL with her undergraduate degree in social work and human services along with criminal social justice; Masters in Social Work from Jane Addams School of Social Work at University of Illinois at Chicago with School Social Work Type 73 Certification; Masters in Educational Leadership with Type 75 Certification; Masters in Special Education with Director of Special Education Endorsement; Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) candidate; Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Mike Drugan

Mike Drugan

Mike is currently the Owner of Drugan and Associates LLC, a training and consulting firm specializing in De-escalation and mental health awareness training since 2005. He retired from the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office after 28 years of service in August of 2019. He worked in corrections for a time but spent most of his career as a Detective and started the Special Victims Unit in 1998. He worked in the SVU and managed that unit until 2017, when he was called to start a Crisis Intervention Program. Mike authored the CIT curriculum and continues to be the program manager for the Crisis Intervention Team training at the Sheriff’s Office. He also served on the Special Operations Team and retired as the Commander of the Crisis Negotiations Team. He currently serves on a contract basis as the Director of Mental Health Services at the Sheriff’s Office.

Mike is an executive board member with NAMI DuPage, an adjunct instructor with the College of DuPage (HSI) and a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA). Mike is married with 4 children and believes first responders deserve better mental health training, and better programs to address the issues they face daily.  

Dr. Brenda Henderson

Dr. Brenda Henderson

Dr. Brenda Henderson is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology with over 29 years of experience providing psychology services, supervision, and administration. She worked on a multidisciplinary inpatient team to provide comprehensive evaluations and therapy for abused and neglected children. After many years she transitioned to private practice and provided child welfare consultation as well as therapy and support to nursing home residents. For 16 years, Dr. Henderson served as the Statewide Psychology and Psychiatry Program Administrator and was promoted to the Chief Deputy Director, Clinical & Child Services Division for the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services. Currently, Dr. Henderson provides mental health disability evaluations for US Veterans and supervision and consultation to a private practice therapy agency. She is a passionate, outspoken leader and a supportive, instructive team builder offering a combination of knowledge and skills developed through a lengthy and rewarding career.
Ashlee Gethner

Ashlee Gethner

Ashlee Gethner is a licensed social worker with an educational background, including a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Northern Illinois University. She obtained her Master of Social Work degree from Aurora University, and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Social Work from the George Williams College of Aurora University. Ashlee was raised by a father who served in law enforcement for twenty-nine years. Because of this, she has a continued passion and drive to work with and to give back to all those that protect and serve our families, communities, and our country.
Maureen Vincent

Maureen Vincent

Maureen Vincent is a Retired Sergeant after 26-years of serve with the Chicago Police department. Maureen is a pioneer member of Chicago Police Departments Ambassador Program recruiting qualified applicants to consider law enforcement. She also is an active member of the National Organization of black law enforcement executives. Along with the amazing career in Law Enforcement, Maureen comes to us with a Bachelor of Science Degree in psychology from Loyola University. Born and raised in Chicago, she will bring the experience of the badge and the knowledge of our State of Illinois.

Kim McKinney

Kim McKinney

Kim McKinney is a mother of two children and police spouse.  Kim has worked on the civilian side of a police department for over a decade as well as currently serves as the administrative assistant to a police commission board.  Kim is passionate about mental wellness in police officers, first responders and their families.  She has a specific passion of raising awareness of mental health issues including signs and symptoms of depression with police families. 

Officer Kenneth Lister

Downer’s Grove Police Department
Plainfield, IL

Date of Death: June 17, 2019

Age: 49
Years of Service: 25
Duty Status: Active

Officer Ken Lister #67 of Downers Grove Police Department of 25 years’ service was a father of three children, a brother, an uncle, and brother to the men and woman in blue. Ken was not only a police officer but for years he was one of the top snipers for the FIAT Swat team. He was also a range officer where he made sure the officers where ready to have each other’s backs. Ken was honored numerous times humbly with Chief awards believing he is just doing his job. One of the awards that Ken was honored with was saving the life of an individual from committing suicide.
 
Ken had begun to struggle with some emotional strains in life that he was not able to overcome. On June 17th, 2019 Ken decided that he could not continue the struggle taking his own life. Leaving us to carry on his legacy.
 
Ken is the Father of my children and we did not get to have him here with us long enough. The struggle is real with so many officers on the streets. The fear of getting help, or the disbelief that they cannot been struggling with life’s struggles. We want to make sure that we are putting a face with what is happening on daily basis. We want to make sure all our officers and their families, understand that it is ok to reach out and to talk to someone, it doesn’t make you less of an officer. It doesn’t affect your ability to put your boots on the streets and continue to protect and serve. It makes you human and understanding that we all have times that life gets the best of us. If we take time for mental health via professional outlets, friends, family, etc. it will always get the best of us, regardless of what we do for a living. We want all those that serve our communities and go in and fight the fights of the society that no one should have to see or deal with. We are here for you, we are your shoulder, your ear, your confidant.
 
Courage and bravery are not only keeping the streets safe, it is also knowing that you can reach out for help. It’s spending an extra five minutes with each other when you see that something is different, whether it is good, bad, or indifferent. They have your backs, so let’s have their back during these times.

Recent Officers