Teen Behavioral Help in Waukegan, Illinois

The city of Waukegan sits on the west shore of Lake Michigan about 40 miles north of Chicago. It has a population close to 90,000, which is large enough to have a good selection of services that will help with teen behavioral issues 3. Teens have varying needs, and the city does well to support the youth of the community.

Counseling Services

Arden Shore Child and Family Services (ardenshore.com) offers counseling for teens facing a variety of behavioral problems 13. It sees teens with issues such as depression, separation and loss, suicidal thoughts, violent behavior, trauma, truancy and self-injury. Through individual and group sessions, Arden teaches anger management skills, builds self-esteem and helps families understand behavioral issues to better cope. The Lake County Health Department (lakecountyil.gov/Health) provides counseling services for teenagers both individually and with the family 1. An assessment for psychiatric hospitalization is given to youth living in Lake County.


Sometimes teens with behavioral issues are placed in alternative schools that are better equipped to help them. The AOEC/Stephens Center (schools.wps60.org/aoec) is a school program meant to assist students who have not found success in a regular school setting because of their disruptive behavioral issues or academic struggles. The school is a smaller, more supportive environment that will help students succeed academically and socially. Ombudsman (ombudsman.com) is another alternative school in the area for at-risk teens who are have either dropped out of regular high school or are struggling to stay in school.

Community Centers

Teens who need help correcting certain behaviors or need to stay away from influences that could lead to behavior problems would benefit from getting involved in a community center. The Boys and Girls Club of Lake County (bgclc.com) offers courses for teens and parents of teens that aim to nurture well-being and positive behavior. One of the classes offered is called SMART Moves and SMART Girls -- SMART is an acronym for Skills Mastery and Resistance Training. It is a prevention education program for teens addressing drugs, alcohol and premature sexual activity. The Family First Center (family1stcenter.org) is a faith-based organization offering health and awareness programs for teenagers 2.

Substance Abuse Programs

Teens who are struggling with addiction can find help through the Lake County Health Department. It has an outpatient substance abuse program providing group counseling, 12-step programs and continual assessments. Nicasa Behavioral Health Services (nicasa.org) is a substance abuse prevention and treatment agency 3. It provides comprehensive assessments for teenagers and then makes recommendations to the family for the appropriate services. Intensive outpatient programs, early intervention classes and life skills education are available.

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