OAK BROOK, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Five Illinois communities were recently awarded $2.1 million, six-year grants to improve the health of their communities. The initiative, titled ‘Children’s Mental Health Initiative 2.0’ will enable each community to create its ‘system of care’ that comprehensively supports child and family mental health. These grants advance the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation’s (ILCHF) strategic goal of increasing access to effective mental health care for children.
The CMHI 2.0 implementation grants were preceded by 13 month, $200,000 planning grants which enabled collaboration among the mental and physical health providers, schools, parents, youth and other community organizations to develop a plan to improve the health of their children and communities. Each grantee community submitted a unique comprehensive plan as part of their application for the six-year grant to implement their systems of care. Goals include providing mental health care in pediatric and school settings, increased metal health screening and increasing supports and education for parents.
Amy Starin, ILCHF Senior Program Officer for Mental Health, notes “We have been so impressed with the way the partners have come together to focus on children’s mental health in each of these communities. Each community is taking a unique approach to this work that reflects their local needs, values and resources. We are excited to see what they create over the next six years.”
“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 Heather Alderman, ILCHF’s President. “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’.”
Tami Fuller, PhD and her team at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Children and Family Research Center are conducting the project evaluation. Dr. Fuller will be assessing the impact of CMHI 2.0 on child and family functioning as well as looking at the extent to which the child serving system partners collaborate to better support the community.
Each community has a lead agency charged with guiding the local efforts. The funded communities and their lead agencies are:
- Perry, Jackson, Williamson & Franklin Counties – Centerstone of Illinois as lead agency
- Macon & Dewitt Counties – Heritage Behavioral Health as lead agency
- Kankakee County – Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley as lead agency
- Kane County – Kane County Health Department as lead agency
- City of Chicago – Primo Center for Women & Children as lead agency
About Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation
Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) is the only statewide private foundation solely focused on improving the health of all children in the State of Illinois. ILCHF was created in December 2002 through an action of then Attorney General Jim Ryan and an Illinois insurance carrier. This action and a settlement of approximately $125 million established the Foundation’s endowment. From 2002 into 2019, Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation has awarded more than $95 million in grants that has been invested in programs aimed at improving children’s overall health in Illinois, with a focus in oral health and mental health. For additional information about ILCHF, please see www.ilchf.org.