Adams County is one of four communities to receive the Children’s Mental Health Initiative, Building Systems of Care, Community by Community (CMHI) grant. The CMHI, funded by the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) is a multi-year, multi-million dollar initiative to support community-generated plans to coordinate mental health services and systems for children and their families. The Mental Health Partnership includes SIU Quincy Family Practice, Transitions, and Adams County Special Education Association. Quincy Public Schools is the administrative agent for the Special Education Association.
Grant funding will be provided for five years. It will fill in the gaps for students and help alleviate the stigma surrounding mental health. Last year was the first year of the grant and was a planning year. The program will provide a systematic process for screening and support to meet mental health needs of children through the integration of services with the school and primary care sites. It will provide therapy, comprehensive assessment and cross systems treatment.
Sharon Bearden is the Mental Health Network Coordinator. Two additional positions funded by the grant include a Mental Health Network Assistant and Social Emotional Coach. The Social Emotional Coach will work with classrooms and support staff, not one on one with students. This position will help teachers identify social/emotional needs and to teach social skills.
The current service system for children’s development emphasizes treatment. The CMHI is supporting systems that will ensure that all children receive, at the earliest point, prevention, early intervention, and treatment and that children do not fall through the cracks. For more information, please contact Sharon Bearden at the Board of Education Office, 217-228-7158 ext. 2224.