Faces of Rosecrance: Katie Heisler

Katie Heisler is the Team Leader for community/school-based services at Rosecrance. She works primarily at Ellis Elementary, with a caseload of 60-70 kids during the school year. “I do groups throughout the day so I can see all of those kids multiple times throughout the week. Some of them do individual therapy as well,” says Katie. Katie has her master’s degree in counseling and has been with Rosecrance for 8 years.

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois has supported Rosecrance’s Open Access Child and Family Counseling program through a grant that integrates preventive, short-term counseling services into services offered through the Crusader Auburn School-Based Health Center. As part of the mental health therapy that Katie provides, she links parents and their children to a nurse practitioner at the Crusader Health Center if the kids need medication.

“A lot of my success here has to do with the staff that work at this school. They have a huge focus on social/emotional needs. If those needs aren’t met, the kids won’t be able to learn as fast or they’ll have behavioral issues.”

Katie leads six community counselors in the Winnebago/Boone county area. “We have a strong, passionate, and knowledgeable group of counselors who do a great job working with children and their families. When I’m not counseling children at Ellis, I meet with staff that I supervise to ensure their needs are being met, and I also spend time connecting with other community partners. We want to ensure that we are providing great client care to children and their families across the Winnebago and Boone areas.”

One of Katie’s groups that she leads at Ellis Elementary is called “Positive Vibes.” This group was created to help boys and girls engage in projects to better themselves, the places they live, as well as familiar community locations. Activities include planting flowers/creating gardens, creating positive posters, buddy benches (shown in the photo) and peace poles. It’s a great way to show the students how to have a positive outlook on life and create something that they can all be proud of.