ICHF Launches Children's Mental Health Initiative

ICHF Launches Children's Mental Health Initiative

The Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation in Oak Brook has announced a $10 million investment to expand its Children's Mental Health Initiative, which helps communities build systems that identify, treat, and prevent mental and behavioral health problems in children.

The new investment is based on the success of the first phase of the CMHI initiative, which succeeded in screening more than thirty-six thousand youth annually from 2010 to 2018 for mental health problems and built sustainable systems of community-based care. The next phase of the initiative will focus on helping four new communities build systems to address mental health issues in children that include prevention, treatment, and support for parents. CMHI 2.0 will launch with $200,000 planning grants to the participating communities in 2018, followed by six years of additional implementation funding of $2.1 million for each of the selected communities.

While half of all serious psychological illnesses manifest themselves by age 14, only 55 percent of children in Illinois under the age of 17 who need mental health counseling receive such care.

"Catching problems early can change the trajectory of a child's life," said ILCHF president Heather Alderman. "Through school and primary care screenings, we gain the opportunity to intervene at the root of problems such as anxiety, anger, or depression and to provide the child and family with tools, strategies, and access to an integrated system of care as they mature."

"Foundation Invests $10 Million to Double Impact of Successful Children’s Mental Health Initiative." Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation Press Release 09/21/2017.