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Gov. Pritzker, IDPH Announce $9.5M to Strengthen Mental Health Services for Youth Across Illinois

News – Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Funding from American Rescue Plan Act is Intended to Aid Post-COVID-19 Mental Health Services for Young People

CHICAGO – Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today that the State of Illinois has awarded $9.5 million in funding to 40 different applicants across the state to support post-pandemic child and adolescent health. The size of the grants ranges from $83,000 to just over $400,000. Sixty percent of the grants are going to schools, 20% to hospital or clinic-based programs, 17.5% to local health departments and 2.5% to colleges.

The funding is primarily from the CDC’s COVID-19 Public Health Workforce Supplemental Funding program authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) plus $500,000 in state dollars. It is being offered to help schools and local agencies improve student care through workforce enhancements, developing frameworks to prevent adverse childhood experiences, interventions to assist children suffering from trauma, and training for medical and school staff to expand adolescent mental health resources.

“We recognize that the last few years have presented numerous challenges for all of us, and this is especially so for our youth,” Governor Pritzker said. “Thanks to this infusion of federal funding, we are strengthening school-based programs and local agencies that serve the mental health needs of young people all across Illinois. I applaud the Biden Administration for recognizing the need to direct resources to these kinds of programs that support our youth.”

“IDPH is excited to support innovative ideas from across the state dedicated to addressing the mental health needs of children and young people,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “From Winnebago County in the north to Gallatin County in Southern Illinois, we were impressed with the thoughtful proposals we received from schools, health care providers, local health departments, and colleges to strengthen child and adolescent health.”

The funding opportunity was overseen by IDPH’s Office of Women’s Health & Family Services. More than 50 percent of the applicants for the funding opportunity are receiving funding.

The proposals outline numerous different strategies to strengthen mental health services for students across Illinois. These include developing student support programs and offering specialized curriculums in areas like stress management and nutrition; providing mental health training, education and support for teachers; providing such training for all school personnel; creating suicide awareness and prevention efforts; creating plans for mental health outreach; developing plans to address mental health needs during current and future public health emergencies; hiring counselors and other mental health professionals; and providing telehealth counseling and evaluation services.

See below for list of grantees and funding amounts:

 Grantee Amount Awarded County City

TOTAL AWARDED $9,431,751.26