Diagnosing, treating depression at Aunt Martha’s in Danville


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought up many health-related concerns, including depression. And while some may be unsure as to exactly what they’re experiencing (and how to treat it), Dr. Wanda Parker says the process of diagnosing and treating depression isn’t one to be afraid of or avoid.

Aunt Martha’s opened its doors on December 6, 1972, with a staff of 12 volunteers and a working budget of $2,500. Although it was located in and closely tied to the Village of Park Forest, there were no limits – geographic or otherwise – placed on Aunt Martha’s or its services.

In its first nine months, Aunt Martha’s volunteer staff responded to nearly 1,000 requests for assistance, handling problems related to family disturbances, runaways and drugs. As the needs of the community’s youth – and, not surprisingly, its adults – continued to emerge, Aunt Martha’s was always willing to take the lead in formulating a response.

The increasing awareness of child abuse and neglect – and the subsequent demand for services such awareness created – was exacerbated by increases in other contributing problems such as substance abuse and teen pregnancy. These were not merely “youth issues.” Family issues were being exposed. Community issues were being brought to light.

These were not new issues, especially to Aunt Martha’s, where by 1977 some 200 volunteers were already providing substance abuse services, Family Planning services, counseling services, as well as foster care and group home services. As the organization’s founders had envisioned the fundamental groundwork had been laid to make Aunt Martha’s a dynamic, agile, coordinated care provider.


Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Follow ciLiving on Social Media

Facebook Social IconTwitter Social IconInstagram Social IconPintrest Social Icon