District 204 gets $250K in grant funding to help support mental health services

Exterior of Indian Prairie School District 204 Administration Building
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Indian Prairie School District 204 will receive nearly $250,000 in grant funding from the State of Illinois to help support its mental health services.

IPSD204 one of 12 districts in DuPage to get funding

The funds were among the $9.5 million the state in coordination with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) doled out to 40 different applicants statewide to support post-pandemic child and adolescent health. IPSD 204 was one of 12 districts in DuPage County to receive funding.

Indian Prairie CARES providing free mental health treatment

The district plans to use the money to support the efforts of Indian Prairie CARES (Community Advocacy, Resilience, Engagement and Supports), which is focused on providing mental health services, boosting student wellness, and advancing health equity.

The funds will allow for the continuation and expansion of CARES Community Clinics. The clinics provide free mental health treatment sessions for students and their families during off-school hours, including weekends and evenings.

The program is meant to both provide help and also reduce the stigma around mental health. Awareness and notification of the free services are key to making sure help gets to those that need it, the district says.

“We are excited about the recent grant from IDPH because it will allow us to continue providing needed support to our students. Our students have said that they want and need the support. This funding allows us to meet their needs.” said IPSD 204 Superintendent Dr. Adrian Talley in a news release from the district.

More about the CARES Community Clinics

The CARES Community Clinics will be staffed by state licensed mental health professionals whose practices are close to IPSD 204 schools. They’ll be offering fifty-minute sessions, free of charge.

There will also be a telehealth option available to help expand the offerings to more students and families in need.

The school piloted the program using a grant it was awarded last year, starting with making free counseling services available at the four schools in the district with the highest number of low-income students. In February 2023, the district announced it had received an additional grant and would be able to expand its offerings to other schools.

It’s a program that’s also being used at several other schools across DuPage County.

“I am glad that other districts, using our after-school clinic model built with funding by the Edward Elmhurst Community Investment Fund, received this IDPH funding. More at-risk and low-income students across DuPage will now be able to have mental health support – a testament to IDPH’s commitment to health equity.”

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