The Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation has announced grants totaling $10.5 million in support of efforts to increase access to effective mental health care for children in the state.
Grants of $2.1 million each over six years were awarded through the Children's Mental Health Initiative 2.0 to help five Illinois communities implement a system of care that provides comprehensive support for child and family mental health. With the support of earlier planning grants of $200,000 each over thirteen months, the recipients collaborated with mental and physical health providers, schools, parents, youth, and community organizations to develop a plan for their systems of care, including providing mental health care in pediatric and school settings, increasing metal health screening, and enhancing supports and education for parents.
The recipient communities are Perry, Jackson, Williamson, and Franklin counties (where Centerstone of Illinois will serve as lead agency); Macon and Dewitt counties (Heritage Behavioral Health); Kankakee County (Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley); Kane County (Kane County Health Department); and the City of Chicago (Primo Center for Women and Children).
"Parent and youth participation in both the planning and implementation of these community changes is a vital aspect of this work. As with our earlier system of care projects, we hope to see a decrease in stigma related to mental health and an increase in mental health screening and services for youth," said ILCHF president Heather Alderman. "We are optimistic that through these projects these communities will move closer to fulfilling the foundation's vision 'that every child in Illinois grow up healthy'."