U-46 to Offer Students Mental Health Services Pilot Program Will Be Available at Four Schools

Article excerpt

Byline: Jameel Naqvi jnaqvi@dailyherald.com

Starting this school year, some Elgin-area students facing severe mental health issues won't have to miss class to get help.

Elgin Area School District U-46, in partnership with two local family service organizations, is piloting a model for mental health services that will be offered within four U-46 middle and high schools.

The idea is to get students the help they need in a setting that carries less of a stigma, while keeping them in school.

"These are very at-risk kids who in order to keep them stabilized at home need mental health services," said Lisa LaForge of the Family Service Association of the Greater Elgin Area. "Our goal is to provide them on-site services so we can help them in school. They're going to have better attendance, better grades."

The pilot program will involve 68 to 70 students at Elgin and Larkin high schools as well as Ellis and Abbott middle schools. All four schools are in Elgin.

With the consent of parents or guardians, staff from the Family Service Association will diagnose and treat the mental health of at-risk students -- kids who are facing a family crisis or have a history of mental illness. …