About Nicasa

Nicasa is a not-for-profit behavioral health services organization that is building brighter futures for vulnerable and at-risk children, adults, and families in Lake County and northern Illinois. Since 1966, Nicasa’s network of dedicated and caring professionals has been pioneering award-winning efforts in prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery. Our mission is to empower and promote healthy lifestyles to prevent and treat substance abuse, addiction, and other risky behaviors. This mission drives our vision to be the premier behavioral and social health organization for individuals, families, and communities in northern Illinois and beyond.

Nicasa’s eight Lake County locations include: Bridge House – a halfway recovery home for adult men and women; the Judy H. Fried Center – an intensive outpatient treatment facility in North Chicago; an administrative, prevention, and counseling center in Round Lake; a counseling and prevention facility located in Waukegan; and counseling facilities in Buffalo Grove, Highland Park, Mundelein, and Zion. Our core services include substance abuse treatment programs, mental health counseling, in-school and after-school programs, youth and family therapy, Teen Court, parent education, comprehensive women’s behavioral health services and a residential halfway recovery home. Nicasa is committed to providing quality, compassionate service to those in need regardless of race, age, gender, or economic status; and is able to provide services in English, Spanish, Polish, and Russian.

Nicasa’s counseling, early intervention, and prevention services have received 3-year accreditation by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) International, Inc.  This certification demonstrates Nicasa’s commitment to outcome-driven, client-centered care, fiscal responsibility, and programmatic excellence.

Nicasa’s Mission and Vision

Mission: Nicasa empowers and promotes healthy lifestyles to prevent and treat substance abuse, addiction, and other risky behaviors.

Vision: Nicasa will be the premier behavioral and social health services organization for individuals, families, and communities in northern Illinois and beyond.

Nicasa’s History

In 1966, Nicasa was founded by members of a local Alcoholics Anonymous group as a one-employee organization. Its original mission was to provide advocacy and a more humane approach to the issues of recovering alcoholics and their families.

Since then, Nicasa has grown to become a leader in the field of substance abuse and mental health services. Nicasa developed some of the State’s first Latino services, DUI programs, community awareness and public education campaigns, and prevention programming.

In 1988, because of Nicasa’s integrity and expertise, the judges of the 19th Judicial Circuit of Lake County and McHenry Counties ruled Nicasa as the sole provider of alcohol/drug abuse evaluations for those arrested for alcohol-related offenses in Lake County.

In 2010, Nicasa was able to expand its battery of services to include families that do not have a substance abuse problem with Family Advocacy Services. These services have been very successful and continue to help families achieve stability and self-sufficiency.

In 2013, Nicasa began offering mental health services in response to a severe shortage of available mental health services in Lake County. Nicasa continues to develop and provide innovative services to meet the changing needs of the men, women, youth and families in our communities.

Read more about Nicasa as an agency.

View our 990 Annual Report