Program Description

Family Service Association’s School-Based Mental Health Program (SBMH) originated in 2005. Through the vision of Lisa LaForge, FSA therapists began working with students in 6 local schools to reduce the stigma of coming to an outpatient clinic for counselling. By October of 2016, the program grew to a new height when awarded a $600,000 grant by Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation. The team expanded to the vision of this pilot program; 10 therapists in 19 schools throughout U-46 and District 300. The SBMH Program utilized the Wraparound Model in the 2-year duration of the ILCHF Grant, where similar programming will soon become available throughout the agency. Wraparound’s holistic focus on helping the family thrive, gives the dynamic team of clinicians a unique foundation for working with students and families.

Program Purpose

The purpose of the School-Based Mental Health Program is to reduce barriers to treatment by supporting the student in the school through counseling, advocacy, collaboration with social workers, teachers, family, and needed community members. The clinicians, clients, and their families work to help reach goals of emotional/behavioral regulation, while stabilizing school attendance and performance. The FSA School Based Team provides a full array of mental health services to students, including those 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 school, community, at home, and/or with friends.