CHICAGO – State Rep. Angie Guerrero-Cuellar, D-Chicago, is highlighting a new state service that will aid pediatricians and other childcare organizations in providing mental health counseling and services.
“Our children’s mental health has been rocked by crisis after crisis, especially the on-going COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on their schooling and socialization,” Guerrero-Cuellar said. “This program dedicates more aid to emergency departments and schools so that our children can get the tools they need to lead healthier and happier lives not only in my district, but throughout the state of Illinois.”
The Departments of Health Services (DHS), Public Health (IDPH) and other collaborating organizations will use $2.5 million in federal funds allocated from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration. Pediatric primary care providers and other healthcare professionals will now be able to partner with school-based counselors to help diagnose and treat mental health issues.
Guerrero-Cuellar currently serves on the Mental Health and Addiction committee, fighting for the very resources provided by this partnership. She also passed record investment in the Pathway to Success program through the state’s most recent budget. The millions of dollars in allocated money are dedicated to crafting more collaborative and targeted solutions to the mental health problems of Illinois children.
“Our children are the future of our state, so it is our responsibility to collaborate with agencies, activists, community members and other stakeholders to give our children more awareness of their mental health needs and the tools to address possible issues,” Guerrero-Cuellar said. “Our pediatric and school-based resources are perfect opportunities for us to meet children where they are. I look forward to continuing the fight for more resources for our children’s mental health.”