Durbin, Chicago Public Schools Announce More Than $1 Million For Mental Health Services

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chicago Public Schools Chief Education Officer Janice K. Jackson announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Chicago Board of Education $1,274,909 to support mental health services for students affected by violence and improve awareness of childhood trauma among educators and school support staff. Under this announcement, Chicago Public Schools will establish the Healing Trauma Together (HTT) program, allowing the district to better serve students at ten high schools in communities with high levels of violence. This funding comes on the heels of a $1 million grant awarded through HHS’ Resiliency in Communities after Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) grant program, which supports violence prevention and community youth engagement programs as well as access to mental health services.
“The violence on the streets of Chicago destroys lives and rips countless families apart. It also has a profound psychological impact on young people, affecting their physical health and their ability to succeed in school. This funding will help schools better serve the needs of students who have witnessed violence,” said Durbin. “I will continue to work alongside Mayor Emanuel to provide much-needed relief to the Chicago communities that have been touched by this senseless violence by building strong support systems for our youth.”
“As an educator and former principal, I have seen the dramatic impact that effective social and emotional supports can have on the trajectory of students’ lives,” said Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “In addition to quality instruction, we recognize the equal importance of addressing the social and emotional needs of our students, which is why we have significantly expanded social and emotional training in schools across the city. The Healing Trauma Together grant is a welcome addition to these ongoing efforts to support our students’ academic success and overall health and well-being.”