Durbin Announces $800,000 For the Knowledge Center At Chaddock Rennovation and Expansion

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited The Knowledge Center at Chaddock to discuss $800,000 in federal funding he and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) secured through Congressionally Directed Spending—more commonly known as an earmark—in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Omnibus appropriations bill for the second phase of its renovation and expansion to improve child and adolescent mental health care. Specifically, the funding will be used for the complete construction of two additional break-out spaces, a large gathering space with technology to run additional virtual trainings for professionals, and a parking lot to accommodate professionals attending in-person trainings.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the mental health and well-being of far too many young people,” said Durbin. “This reality makes the work that The Knowledge Center does—conducting training, consultations, and research on improving child mental health—all the more essential. Providing additional space to train more educators and health care professionals on best practices forsupporting patients and students allows The Knowledge Center to better serve communities and disrupt the cycle of trauma.”

The Knowledge Center is a national training, consultation, and research facility dedicated to improving child and adolescent mental health care.  The center has held in-person and virtual trainings forbehavioral health professionals, educators, and other human service professionals around the world for best practices in providing attachment and trauma care.

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which Durbin supported, provides more than $3 billion in appropriations for school-and community-based mental health and trauma-informed care. Durbin secured an additional $250 million in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act for community-based violence initiatives, including improving mental health access. In June 2021, Durbin also reintroduced the bipartisan RISE from Trauma Act—which would help children and families who experience trauma cope with their experiences, and prevent this root cause of trauma from leading kids to engage in violence.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that between 2019 to 2020, mental health-related emergency room visits for children ages 5-11 increased 25 percent.  In 2021, 37 percent of high school students reported poor mental health and 44 percent persistently felt hopeless.  In December, in a rare public advisory, the U.S. surgeon general warned of a “devastating” mental health crisis among adolescents. Numerous hospital and doctor groups have called it a national emergency, citing rising levels of mental illness, a severe shortage of therapists and treatment options, and insufficient research to explain the trends.  Nearly, 40 percent of Illinoisans live in a mental health professional shortage area, including residents of Adams County.