Program Description

Family Service Association’s re-vamped School-Based Mental Health Program (SBMH) brings the concept of family counselling to a whole new level. Originating in 2005, through the vision of Lisa LaForge, some FSA therapists began working with students in 6 local schools to reduce the stigma of coming to an outpatient clinic for counselling. In October of 2016, the program was awarded a $600,000 grant by Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation to expand the vision of this pilot program to 10 therapists in 19 schools throughout U-46 and District 300.

The SBMH Program now formally uses the WrapAround Model of seeing the family system in a holistic way. This model aims to wrap the family in support to help resolve any barriers to stability and provide any support necessary for the struggling family to be able to thrive again. As in the early model, the therapist will meet the student in the school, now expanding to seeing the family in their home and/or in the community for formal counselling, problem solving, and skill building. Through harnessing assistance from teachers, social workers, natural family supports, and members of the community, the therapist can effectively help the family facilitate and sustain change.

Program Purpose

The purpose of the School-Based Mental Health Program is to wrap support around the family through counseling, advocacy, collaboration with teachers, social workers, and needed community members to help reach the goals below:

  • Emotional and behavioral stability.
  • Stabilize school attendance and school performance.
  • We provide a full array of mental health services to students who are at risk of being extruded from the school community due to unmet mental health needs.

Who Is a Good Fit For The Program?

  1. Students who attend a school we serve and whose family is willing to participate in treatment.
  2. Students who demonstrate a need for mental health services and struggle in the following areas:
    • Home.
    • Community.
    • Socially.
    • Academically.
  3. Families who have not had success working with traditional programs.

Participating Schools

School District U-46

  • Elgin High School.
  • Larkin High School.
  • South Elgin High School.
  • Ellis Middle School.
  • Kimball Middle School.
  • Abbott Middle School.
  • Highland Elementary School.
  • Hillcrest Elementary School.
  • Century Oaks Elementary School.
  • Lowrie Elementary School.
  • Harriet Gifford Elementary School.
  • Washington Elementary School.
  • Creekside Elementary School.

School District 300

  • Dundee-Crown High School.
  • Hampshire High School.
  • Dundee Middle School.
  • Carpentersville Middle School.
  • Lakewood Elementary School.