The Story Behind The Family Education Center
Interview with Dr. Patricia Morris, President of the Family Education Center
The clinicians at Hoover & Associates have recently developed a non-profit organization called the Family Education Center or FEC. To get the inside scoop about the FEC, I chatted with Dr. Patricia Morris about how it all came about and what the FEC offers.
Interviewer: Hello Dr. Morris. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview in order to give our readers some more information about the Family Education Center or FEC.
Dr. Morris: It’s my pleasure! We are excited to get the word about FEC and its services out to those in need of those services.
Interviewer: Could you please give me a quick overview of what the FEC is and what it does?
Dr. Morris: The Family Education Center is a group of mental health professionals who provide sliding scale psychological services and free presentations to groups interested in mental health issues. I believe our Mission Statement says what we plan to do best:
The Family Education Center works to enhance the wellbeing of the community by facilitating access to quality mental health information and services to underserved families and individuals. We are dedicated to meeting the increasing need for affordable care in the southwest suburbs one family at a time because strong families create strong communities.
Interviewer: The FEC is really starting to become active this year, but I wondered if we couldn’t go back for a moment and talk about the beginning. Whose idea was this originally? Also, what are some of the reasons it was developed?
Dr. Morris: The psychologists working at Hoover & Associates felt there was a need to reach out and offer some of their expertise to the southwest suburban community. Under employment and unemployment have left many individuals without insurance coverage just when they may be most in need of mental health services.
Interviewer: When was the FEC officially started, and what has it been doing between then and now?
Dr. Morris: The Family Education Center was begun in 2008. The clinicians at Hoover & Associates spent some time considering how to best implement its purpose of providing services to the community. During the first few years, FEC provided speakers to organizations throughout the southwest suburban community. In 2012, the FEC decided to address the need for affordable mental health services for families and individuals.
Interviewer: And what about some of the more recent developments? I understand that the FEC just recently started offering therapy and psychological testing services on a sliding scale. Could you tell us a little more about how the sliding scale works?
Dr. Morris: The sliding scale services through the FEC are for individuals and families who do not have mental health insurance coverage. The fee charge is determined based on both income and number of dependents.
Interviewer: Some people may be suspicious of such low fees. They may wonder whether the quality of these services is comparable to regular price services or other providers. Or they may wonder if there are limitations on sessions or types of services. Could you please comment on that?
Dr. Morris: All of the therapists working through the FEC are licensed professionals. They are the same therapists who work at Hoover & Associates; they have generously offered to spend some of their clinical time working through the FEC with families who have no insurance coverage. However, there are some limitations. For example, the FEC will NOT provide services for workman’s compensation cases, social security disability testing or any issue being litigated in court. And it would be up to the individual clinicians as to the type of patients they are willing to accept.
Interviewer: Currently, the FEC offers professional speakers about mental health topics as well as sliding scale psychological services, including testing, individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy and group therapy. How many people are involved in making this all happen?
Dr. Morris: The Board of the Family Education Center is comprised of five individuals who are committed to promoting the mission of the FEC. Two are clinicians from Hoover & Associates and three are interested community members. In the future, we hope to add Board members from the Tinley Park business community. There are currently four clinicians who see individuals and families through the FEC.
Interviewer: Where does the FEC get its funding?
Dr. Morris: The Family Education Center is totally funded by donations from individuals and local corporations. In the future, we plan to apply for grants to augment our funds.
Interviewer: If someone wanted to make a donation to the FEC, how would they go about it?
Dr. Morris: To make a donation, simply write a check to THE FAMILY EDUCATION CENTER and mail it to The Family Education Center, 16325 South Harlem, Suite 200, Tinley Park, IL 60477.
Interviewer: Does the FEC have any additional plans for the future? What are your dreams for the FEC?
Dr. Morris: The Family Education Center would like to expand and provide a site for post degree professionals in psychology, social work and counseling to provide affordable, quality mental health care while fulfilling the requirements of their licensing. That way more professionals can help more families – a win-win situation!
Interviewer: If someone wanted to set up sliding scale therapy or psychological testing services for themselves or a loved one, what would they need to do?
Dr. Morris: Simply call 708-429-6999 and tell the receptionist that you would like to schedule an appointment with an FEC clinician under the sliding scale.
Interviewer: If someone wanted to invite an FEC speaker to talk for their group, what would they need to do?
Dr. Morris: Again, simply call 708-429-6999 and ask for the FEC voicemail. You will receive a call back within two business days.
Interviewer: Thank you, Dr. Morris, it’s been a pleasure talking with you.
Dr. Morris: Thank you for your time and the opportunity to tell you about the Family Education Center!
Dr. Trish Morris is the president of the Family Education Center and has been a clinician at Hoover & Associates since 1992.
For more information about the Family Education Center, please see:
- information about sliding scale services on our resources page
- our post on presentations
Hoover & Associates‘ team of licensed psychologists, counselors and social workers is here to offer you help and guidance. We’ve been providing mental health services in the southwest suburbs of Chicago since 1985. We’re conveniently located at 16325 S. Harlem Ave., Suite 200, Tinley Park, IL 60477; near Orland Park, Orland Hills, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, Matteson, Country Club Hills, Flossmoor, Homewood, Hazel Crest, Markham, Oak Forest, Midlothian, Crestwood, Palos Heights, Palos Park, and Palos Hills. Call to make an appointment: 708-429-6999.