About Us

The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education was established in 2002 in Naomi’s memory. With the proceeds of Naomi’s estate and contributions from family and friends, we work to prevent others from suffering as she did. Our goal is to overcome the stigma of mental illness. The institute’s income is used to promote educational programs and to support organizations engaged in mental illness research, education, self-help, anti-discrimination, and advocacy.

Since its inception, the institute has aimed at creating a more inclusive community to provide support to individuals and families struggling with a broad range of mental health issues. Whether you have attended our annual community mental health conference made a donation, or offered an open heart and listening ear for a family experiencing a mental health crisis, you are helping us to achieve our critical mission.

This has been an exciting year for the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education:

  • Our 2018 annual community mental health conference Older Adult Mental Health: Opportunities and Challenges drew more than 250 participants who are dedicated to helping young people grow into strong, healthy adults able to actively contribute to their community.
  • We launched a monthly cable show on CAN-TV as part of their Focus on Family Series, which provides parents with essential knowledge, skills, and resources to raise healthy families.
  • We partnered with The Telling Project and Piven Theatre to expand the veteran story-telling production to Illinois, which has a significant veteran population.
  • We have conducted several Mental Health First Aid training, which educates community members on how to help someone who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge.
  • We developed a partnership with Community Builders in Chicago providing monthly educational/support groups to seniors in both their Westside and Southside locations.
  • We designed and delivered a four-part workshop series that helped Evanston teens strengthen their mental health skills, as part of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program.
  • We trained more than 200 mental health professionals to strengthen their clinical skills, in the areas of mental illness, substance and alcohol use, trauma, human rights, etc.
  • We launched our speakers’ bureau which provides speakers for a variety of groups, including but not limited to service clubs, PTA/PTO meetings, faith groups, block clubs, health classes, and scout troops.
  • We provided quarterly Saturday parenting workshops in Evanston for Spanish-speaking parents.