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Building Brighter Futures for the Next 50 Years

Help Nicasa Behavioral Health celebrate another 50 years of service to the community! By donating, you are helping Nicasa save lives and build brighter futures.

A fundraising campaign for Nicasa

Nicasa is a not-for-profit behavioral health services organization that is building brighter futures for vulnerable and at-risk children, adults, and families in Lake County and northern Illinois. Since 1966, Nicasa’s network of dedicated and caring professionals has been pioneering award-winning efforts in prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery. Our mission is to empower and promote healthy lifestyles to prevent and treat substance abuse, addiction, and other risky behaviors. This mission drives our vision to be the premier behavioral and social health organization for individuals, families, and communities in northern Illinois and beyond.
This year is a very special one at Nicasa Behavioral Health Services as we celebrate our 50th year of service to the community. The most important number, however, are not measured in years, but in all those we have helped during our long history. 
  • 180,000 men and women and 15,000 youth received substance abuse education and treatment
  • 4,500 men and women were given a home at Bridge House and given the support they needed to remain in recovery
  • 3,200 teenagers were given a second chance through Nicasa's Teen Court Program
  • 2,300 middle and high school students were given safe and supportive after school programming that helped them succeed and thrive
  • 2,200 families were given the resources they needed to weather their crisis and return to self-sufficiency in our Family Advocacy Program
  • 900 youth and adults received mental health services
We are asking for your support as we continue to grow and develop to meet the needs of our diverse communities over the next 50 years and work toward our goal of becoming the premier behavioral health organization in northern Illinois by: 

  • expanding mental health services
  • improving supportive services for individuals in treatment and recovery
  • increasing linkage with primary health care
  • providing adolescent residential recovery services
  • strengthening partnerships and collaborations with other human services organizations
  • enhancing treatment with the use of technology


Here are a few testimonials from previous clients we helped.


Nicasa's Milestones over the last 50 years.

  • 1966 – Incorporated as the Lake County Council on Alcoholism, a one-employee organization whose mission was to provide advocacy to recovering alcoholics and their families
  • 1972 – Develops bilingual, bicultural services for the Latino population
  • 1972 – Opens Bridge House as Lake County’s first co-ed residential recovery program
  • 1977 – Launches community awareness and public education prevention campaigns
  • 1978 – Pioneers family intervention techniques and presents results at a national conference
  • 1980 – Convenes first regional conference on Alcoholism and Domestic Violence
  • 1982 – Name changes to Northern Illinois Council on Alcoholism
  • 1983 – Launches Women and Alcoholism public awareness campaign
  • 1984 – Develops ground-breaking prevention programming
  • 1985 – Offers Youth Treatment Services
  • 1985 – Changes name to Northern Illinois Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
  • 1988 – Pilots workplace-based parent education and support program The Parent Project
  • 1988 – 19th Judicial Circuit names N.I.C.A.S.A. as sole provider of alcohol and drug evaluations for those arrested for driving under the influence in Lake County
  • 1989 – Develops complementary therapies to promote lasting recovery
  • 1990 – Forms the “Lake County Fighting Back” Coalition to address substance abuse in youth
  • 1992 – Initiates gender-specific parent programming in Lake County Jail
  • 1993 – Begins parenting programs in public housing areas
  • 1993 – Pilots Aggression Control Training
  • 1994 – Opens the Women’s and Children’s Center (now Judy H. Fried Center) in North Chicago
  • 1994 – Offers school-based life skills training
  • 1996 – Pilots Teen Court
  • 1996 – Offers Female Aggression Control Training
  • 1999 – Begins bilingual, bicultural life skills education in schools
  • 1999 – Launches family strengthening and violence prevention initiative
  • 2000 – Develops innovative and award-winning LifeStar after school program to identify and enhance youth’s interests, strengths and talents
  • 2000 – Expands youth programming to include early intervention services for delinquent youth
  • 2002 – Opens a Teen REACH after school program at Waukegan Middle School
  • 2003 – Expands Women’s Services to treat working women and their children
  • 2004 – Opens a 21st Century Community Learning Center in Round Lake High School
  • 2004 – Begins collaboration with Lake County Drug Court
  • 2004 – Expands youth and family services to include therapy or adolescents and their families
  • 2006 – Celebrates forty years of service to the community
  • 2007 – Enhances treatment services to address HIV/AIDS in indigent minority women
  • 2007 – Opens a sixth location at the Mano a Mano Family Resource Center
  • 2007 – Nicasa coordinates the Mundelein STAND-UP Task Force to reduce underage drinking in Mundelein
  • 2008 – Nicasa alumni form the Women of WORTH recovery group and begin creating jewelry and promoting recovery in the community
  • 2009 – Creates a partnership with the newly formed Clockwise Theatre to form the Mosaic Arts Project, a collaborative youth program
  • 2010 – Begins Family Advocacy Services for struggling families that may not have substance use/abuse issues
  • 2010 – Offers adult intensive outpatient treatment services at Round Lake (previously only for women at the Judy H. Fried Center)
  • 2010 – Nicasa opens a location in Highland Park
  • 2011 – Launches youth intensive outpatient treatment program
  • 2012 – Opens a seventh location at New Hope Christian Fellowship Church in Mundelein
  • 2012 – Enhances adult outpatient treatment with technology assisted care
  • 2013 – The Judy H. Fried Center (formerly Women’s Services) opens its doors to male clients
  • 2013 – Pilots mental health services
  • 2013 – Co-founded the Lake County Opioid Initiative with Lake County State’s Attorney, Live4Lali, and Police Chief George Filenko
  • 2013 – Nicasa is founding member and fiscal agent for the Alliance for Human Services of Lake County.
  • 2014 – Opens eighth Lake County location in Zion
  • 2014 – Receives 3-year CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accreditation
  • 2014 – Begins offering navigation services for enrollment in the Healthcare Marketplace
  • 2014 – Instrumental in the opening of the Round Lake Student Health and Wellness Center and provides behavioral health services on-site
  • 2015 – Initiates LGBTQ-specific services
  • 2015 – Begins accepting private health insurance
  • 2016 – Celebrates 50 years of services to the community

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About the Organization

About Nicasa

Nicasa is a not-for-profit behavioral health services organization that is building brighter futures for vulnerable and at-risk children, adults, and families in Lake County and northern Illinois. Since 1966, Nicasa’s network of dedicated and caring professionals has been pioneering award-winning efforts in prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery. Our mission is to empower and promote healthy lifestyles to prevent and treat substance abuse, addiction, and other risky behaviors. This mission drives our vision to be the premier behavioral and social health organization for individuals, families, and communities in northern Illinois and beyond.

Nicasa’s eight Lake County locations include: Bridge House – a halfway recovery home for adult men and women; the Judy H. Fried Center – an intensive outpatient treatment facility in North Chicago; an administrative, prevention, and counseling center in Round Lake; a counseling and prevention facility located in Waukegan; and counseling facilities in Buffalo Grove, Highland Park, Mundelein, and Zion. Our...

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