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​Seek Help

If you or someone you know needs help or wants to discuss mental health concerns, contact:​
  • Dial 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
  • Text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line
  • Contact Safe2Help Illinois: Dial 844-4-SAFEIL, Text SAFE2 (72332), email


Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. It is important to know that mental health is more than just the absence of a mental disorder or disability. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. 


Overall health is composed of not only physical health, but mental health too. These two components are both especially important and can influence one another. Physical health problems significantly increase the risk of developing mental health problems, and vice versa. Studies show that positive mental health can reduce the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and other health conditions.

The Illinois State Board of Education recognizes that supporting the mental/emotional well-being of our educators and our students is vitally important to supporting the vision, mission, and goals of our agency.


Everyone experiences feelings of stress, anxiety, grief, and worry and these are normal. When these feelings become overwhelming and start to impact one’s ability to learn, work, carry out daily activities, or engage in healthy and satisfying personal relationships, this can suggest that there may be a mental illness.

 Legislation and Rules

 Resources and Guidance


Screening, Assessment, and Support Service Can Help.
Screening, Assessment, and Support Service (SASS) is a statewide crisis program for children and youth. SASS provides intensive mental health services for children and youth who may need hospitalization for mental health care. SASS will also provide crisis intervention, linkage, and coordination of services to other community-based mental health agencies for aftercare and outpatient treatment. The SASS program's main focus is to stabilize the family and maintain the youth at home and in the community. The program has a single point of entry, the Crisis and Referral Entry Service (CARES).

The following criteria will be applied to determine eligibility based on age and insurance status:
  • Children and youth under the age of 18 seeking public funding for psychiatric services through the Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Any child or youth enrolled in Illinois Healthcare and Family Services Medicaid Program or Medicaid Managed Care Organization
  • Any child or youth whom the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has legal responsibility
A SASS crisis worker will respond to the youth in crisis to complete a crisis screening and make recommendations on appropriate mental health care, which may include community-based services or inpatient hospitalization. The crisis screening can be provided in-person, over the phone, or through video, as requested by the family.

Contact CARES at 800-345-9049 if you need SASS services.

The SASS program is administered by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

 Funding Opportunities

  • ​All current funding opportunities can be found on our Grants page​

* * * This page has been archived. The content on this page may no longer be in effect. * * *

Contact Information