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Indian Prairie School District 204 Receives Grant to Strengthen Mental Health Services


Indian Prairie School District 204 is pleased to announce its selection as one of the proud recipients of the State of Illinois' recent allocation of $9.5 million in funding to support post-pandemic child and adolescent health. This initiative is set to make a significant impact on the well-being of young people across the state.

Under the banner of Indian Prairie CARES (Community Advocacy, Resilience, Engagement and Supports), which is a multifaceted approach to advance health equity, student wellness, and mental health supports in the district, District 204 is continuing access to mental health services for high school students throughout the district. Indian Prairie is one of twelve districts in DuPage County to receive the grant funding from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The essential funding will remove obstacles to mental health care by establishing CARES Community Clinics, offering mental health services to students and families entirely free of charge. Additionally, this program will combat stigma and expand awareness and access to mental health services for at-risk students and underserved families through after school/weekend counseling sessions.

The CARES Community Clinics will be staffed by Illinois licensed mental health professionals facilitated by ReferralGPS with practice locations near the schools. The CARES Community Clinics will offer mental health treatment sessions after school hours including evenings and weekends and be staffed by licensed clinicians, providing no-cost fifty-minute sessions. To eliminate barriers to care, students will have the option to participate in telehealth sessions with the practices or visit the practice location outside of the school day. This flexibility accounts for the notion that while some families may prefer telehealth, others may prefer in person visits in a clinical setting.

Superintendent Dr. Adrian Talley, acknowledging the pressing need for student mental health services, expressed his enthusiasm stating, "We are excited about the recent grant from IDPH because it will allow us to continue providing needed support to our students. Our students have said that they want and need the support. This funding allows us to meet their needs.” Talley also expressed his gratitude for the other DuPage County districts expanding access to mental health care stating, “I am glad that other districts, using our after-school clinic model built with funding by the Edward Elmhurst Community Investment Fund, received this IDPH funding. More at-risk and low-income students across DuPage will now be able to have mental health support-a testament to IDPH’s commitment to health equity."