Durbin, Duckworth Announce $1 Million To Support Mental Health Services In Chicago

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced a total of $1.02 million in federal funding for mental health awareness training and school-based mental health centers in the Chicago area. The funding, awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will go to seven schools, health centers, and community organizations in Chicago and the suburbs. 

Too many kids in Chicago carry the burden of trauma, and too often there’s not a helping hand for them to cope and thrive. I’ve made it a priority to increase funding and improve access to services for children and families who need mental health services,” Durbin said. Senator Duckworth and I will continue working to provide federal support to help Illinois organizations continue their important work to address trauma and violence in our communities.”

 “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the well-being and mental health challenges for many children and working families, and there’s been an increased need for trauma-informed, community-based and equity-centered treatment and services,” Duckworth said. “I’ll keep working with Senator Durbin to help make sure these programs—which are vital to ensuring the health of Chicago and all of our nation—have the federal resources and support they need to continue to serve Illinoisans during this ongoing public health crisis.”

SAMHSA’s Mental Health Awareness Training grant program helps train school personnel, emergency first responders, law enforcement, veterans, armed services members and their families to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders, particularly serious mental illness and/or serious emotional disturbances, to respond safely and appropriately. Participants will learn about the available resources in their community that they might share with those individuals with whom they interact. The following Illinois organizations have been awarded funding under this program:

  • Chicago Public Schools (Chicago): $124,408
  • The Josselyn Center (Northfield): $125,000
  • Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center (Waukegan): $125,000
  • Asian Health Coalition of Illinois (Chicago): $125,000
  • Children’s Research Triangle (Chicago): $124,931

HRSA's Health Center Program school-based service sites connect underserved children, adolescents, and their families to quality, affordable health care located at or on the grounds of a school. The following Illinois health centers have been awarded funding under this program:

  • Friend Family Health Center (Chicago): $200,000
  • TCA Health (Chicago): $200,000

Durbin has led efforts in Congress for years to increase funding for SAMHSA’s National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative, which provides grants to community organizations and universities to improve trauma-informed care. Earlier this year, Durbin and Duckworth introduced the Resilience Investment, Support, and Expansion (RISE) from Trauma Actwhich would further increase funding for community-based efforts to prevent and mitigate the impact of trauma and expand the trauma-informed workforce in schools, health care settings, social services, first responders, and the justice system.