. . .7.5% of Illinois children ages 3-17 are reported to have moderate or severe social or emotional difficulties. Those children living in poverty are reported to have a rate of 14.6%. Only 20% of these children will receive mental health services.
. . .half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by the age of 14.
. . .39 counties in Illinois have no psychologist or psychiatrist.
ILCHF is committed to changing the way we look at the development of a child and how to provide children's mental health services. To do this, we must first define what we mean by children's mental health.
Children's mental health encompasses the broad spectrum of age appropriate social and emotional, cognitive, motor, behavioral, learning, speech and language development. Through appropriate development, a child is able to manage behavior and can adapt to an ever-changing internal, domestic and community environment. Through this process, the child grows into a competent, functioning adult who can care for self and others, as well as be a productive member of society.
One strategy to overcome the barriers in children's mental health services is to integrate primary care and mental health services at a program level. Over the past two years, the Foundation has funded models that integrated primary care and mental health serviceds throughout the state of Illinois. The funding was to promote innovative, collaborative care models that use evidence informed prevention and intervention approaches.
Another strategy is to enhance children's mental health services on a systems level. In September, 2009, ILCHF launched its Children's Mental Health Initiative, Building Systems of Care, Community by Community.
Through today, the Foundation has invested over $15 million in these targeted efforts.
Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation 1200 Jorie Boulevard, Suite 301 Oak Brook, IL 60523 (p) 630.571.2555 (f) 630.571.2566