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MentalHealth2-Banner.PNGTrauma-informed care has become an essential aspect of how educators approach caring and supporting all children, which has shifted educational opportunities and outcomes in a positive direction. To genuinely provide the best care for our students, we also must take care of ourselves – as human beings. Providing high-quality care means we must be reflective of ourselves and those around us. Trauma is not just something our students experience; we as adults experience trauma as well. At unprecedented times like these, we are all experiencing our own form of trauma.

Individuals can experience trauma in forms; situational trauma, psychological trauma, and vicarious trauma. Unpredictable moments in history can cause people to experience one or multiple of those forms of trauma. Regardless of the kind of trauma, it all negatively impacts a person's health by increasing the amount of stress.

Trauma impacts our emotional well-being and can lead to guilt, anger, cynicism, physical illness, social withdrawal, physical/mental exhaustion, loss of attention, loss of motivation, and loss of creativity. It is okay to experience any of these emotional stressors; however, we also must learn to acknowledge and take care of ourselves as we are taking care of others.

Self-care for Instances of Trauma should be focused on actions to restore balance in life. Learning to do a few key activities can help us to embed self-care in our regular routines. To that end, the Illinois State Board of Education recognizes that student well being extends beyond learning and nutrition, we must also focus on the mental/emotional wellbeing of our educators and our students.​

If you or anyone you know is struggling, please know it's okay to ask for help.

There are many resources available for free!


Mental Health Crisis for Your Kids, Teens?

Screening, Assessment, and Support Service (SASS) 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 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 DCFS 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.

If you need SASS services, contact the Crisis and Referral Entry Service (CARES) line at (800) 345-9049.

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

 FY21 Mental Health Services RFP

Applications accepted by electronic submission only through the Mental Health Services system found in the IWAS program listing.  A view-only copy of the RFP can be found here​​.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants are school districts with a less than 90% adequacy level, that also fall within the locale codes 33, 41, 42, and 43 of the New Urban-Centric Locale Codes, as defined by the National Center for Educations Statistics. To determine if adequacy is less than 90%, please look under Reports, FY 2021, FY 2021 EBF Distribution Quick Facts found in column K on the Evidence-Based Funding Distribution Calculation page. To determine locale code, visit the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) website.

Program Purpose

The purpose of this program is to provide funding for mental health services to students at school districts with a less than 90% adequacy level, that also fall within locale codes 33, 41, 42, and 43 of the New Urban-Centric Locale Codes, as defined by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Program Description

This program will allow for the design and implementation of a districtwide plan that provides students in high-risk districts with greater access to mental health services, as identified through the utilization of a universal screener. This may include a partnership between the district and one or more nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, or local mental health agencies to carry out the project.

Application Deadline

Proposals must be submitted in IWAS by 4PM on Monday, December 7, 2020.

Technical Assistance

A technical assistance session will not be held for this application; instead, all questions will be addressed in a Frequently Asked Questions document. This document will be posted at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/MentalHealthResources.aspx so all respondents can see all questions and the responses to the questions. Changes to the FAQ will not be made after November 30, 2020. Applicants are advised to check the site before submitting a proposal.

How to access the Mental Health Services grant

This grant will be available in the IWAS system.

Account holders will log in, new users will sign up.

Once logged in, users will select Mental Health Services from the system listing.

All eligible applicants must create and submit an application in the system. To create the application you will select "Year: 2021" and choose "Create Application."

For assistance with IWAS, please review the IWAS GuidePDF Document.​​​​​

 FY20 Mental Health Services RFP

​Applications accepted by electronic submission only through the Mental Health Pilot RFP system found in the IWAS program listing

 PANDAS and PANS Standards of Care Summit - October 4, 2018

​For nearly thirty years, Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections (PANDAS) has been studied extensively at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and elsewhere across the U.S. and internationally. More recently, a consortium of clinicians, researchers, and scientists has dedicated considerable time and effort to clinical care and study of children with PANDAS and the larger cohort of patients with Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS). A medically treatable cause can be found for most cases of PANDAS and PANS. Preliminary data suggest that with appropriate treatment early in the course of illness, and effective use of antibiotics prophylaxis, we may be able to prevent up to 25-30% of childhood mental illnesses.

In accordance with P.A. 99-0320, the Illinois State Board of Education is part of a statewide Advisory Council on PANDAS and PANS.   The Council is charged with a number of activities including education and outreach to educators, parents, and health care providers.  The Council is sponsoring a Standards of Care Summit on PANDAS/PANS on Oct. 4, 2018.  Registration is fee and available at https://ipac-summit-2018.bpt.me
NOTE: The content for both new drop-down boxes can be found on the current School Health Issues Page under the “Mental Health” Tab.

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