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KYC Receives $99,960 Grant from the Illi­nois Chil­dren’s Health­care Foundation

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Rec­og­niz­ing the incred­i­ble role our cri­sis response team plays in keep­ing our com­mu­ni­ties and youth healthy and safe, the Illi­nois Children’s Health­care Foun­da­tion (ILCHF) has pro­vid­ed $99,960 to KYC’s SASS/MCR Pro­gram (Screen­ing, Assess­ment, and Sup­port Services/​Mobile Cri­sis Response) to ensure our team remains ful­ly staffed and ready to respond to youth and fam­i­lies when they need sup­port most. 

Although our cri­sis pro­grams serve all ages, most calls involve youth who are either sui­ci­dal or homi­ci­dal” explained Grace Hong Duf­fin, KYC’s Pres­i­dent and Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer. Our team shows up dur­ing one of the hard­est and scari­est moments for any fam­i­ly and are trained to save lives.”

SASS/MCR pro­vides 247 cri­sis ser­vices to indi­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies in psy­chi­atric emer­gency. Dis­patched through the CARES statewide hot­line, men­tal health work­ers respond to indi­vid­u­als at risk for harm­ing them­selves of oth­ers, most often chil­dren in cri­sis. Each client is eval­u­at­ed on the spot, with per­son­al­ized care plans ini­ti­at­ed to keep both the client and their fam­i­ly mem­bers safe. Once the ini­tial cri­sis has been sta­bi­lized, more long-term care plans are made for the com­ing months to help build long-term cop­ing mech­a­nisms and strate­gies that min­i­mize hos­pi­tal­iza­tion and work toward a client’s recov­ery. Often, this involves coor­di­nat­ing care not only with the fam­i­ly unit, but with doc­tors, teach­ers, social work­ers, police depart­ments, and oth­ers, all work­ing togeth­er through the SASS/MCR team.

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The SASS agency net­work rep­re­sents a spe­cial and espe­cial­ly impor­tant type of provider of children’s men­tal health ser­vices in Illi­nois,” shared Amy Starin, the Foundation’s Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer for Men­tal Health. The agen­cies are unique­ly posi­tioned to pro­vide the full array of men­tal health sup­ports to chil­dren and fam­i­lies, rang­ing from pre­ven­tion edu­ca­tion to com­mu­ni­ty men­tal health ser­vices to cri­sis response. Sus­tain­ing these providers is crit­i­cal for main­tain­ing a men­tal health safe­ty net,” Starin continued.

As shared on their web­site, ILCHF has a sin­gle vision: that every child in Illi­nois grows up healthy.” It was with this com­mit­ment that ILCHF rec­og­nized the deep finan­cial impacts COVID-19 has had on behav­ioral health providers serv­ing chil­dren. To ensure these most crit­i­cal ser­vices remain in place for the future, ILCHF pro­vid­ed more than $2,500,000 to 23 agen­cies statewide, includ­ing KYC

As many KYC pro­grams con­tin­ue to surge with record-num­bers of clients in need of sup­port dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, a few pro­grams saw sig­nif­i­cant decreas­es when the pan­dem­ic broke in March. For KYC’s SASS/MCR Team, in-take call lev­els dropped by as much as 45%, reflec­tive of the sud­den clo­sure of many of the insti­tu­tions trained to safe­guard children’s health: schools, park dis­tricts, and after-school programs. 

While these pro­gram invest­ments will not make the pro­grams whole, the fund­ing will pro­vide finan­cial sup­port that these orga­ni­za­tions large­ly plan to use to con­tin­ue to sup­port SASS staff posi­tions, fur­ther enhanc­ing the over­all via­bil­i­ty of the SASS men­tal health ser­vices in Illi­nois” pro­vides Heather Hig­gins Alder­man, ILCHF’s President.

KYC’s SASS/MCR Team responds to cri­sis calls across nine town­ships: Bar­ring­ton, Elk Grove, Hanover, Maine, Pala­tine, Schaum­burg, and Wheel­ing, respond­ing to more than 1,500 cri­sis calls in a typ­i­cal year.

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