Durbin Discusses Federal Funding For Youth Mental Health Services

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today announced $1,000,000 in new Congressionally Directed Spending—also known as an earmark—that he secured in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 omnibus appropriations bill for Thresholds to renovate their Young Adult Program building to expand their services to more youth. Their building supports young adults by offering both behavioral therapy, educational opportunities, and transitional living treatment.

“There’s no question that the pandemic has harmed the mental health of Americans.  The isolation, economic angst, and many stressors in our society have exacerbated rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide,” said Durbin.  “This reality makes the work that Thresholds does—providing clinical services and resources to young adults, veterans, young mothers, and so many others—all the more essential. This new funding will help Thresholds care for our young people and provide them services to help them thrive.”

Thresholds serves 12,500 youth and adults with mental health or substance use disorders across Illinois.  Their Youth and Young Adult Services include a preventative treatment program for those at risk of mental illness, behavioral health services for youth transitioning to adulthood, educational programs including a high school, residential support, and assistance for mothers with mental health challenges and their children.  One key program is their Youth and Young Adult Research, which designs best practices to help youth with mental health disorders.

Last month, Pres. Biden signed into law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which includes several new gun safety reforms and mental health resources.  Notably, the law provides more than $3 billion in additional appropriations for school-and community-based mental health and trauma-informed care. This new funding will build upon more than $500 million in American Rescue Plan funds that Chicago, Cook County, and the State of Illinois are dedicating toward violence prevention.