Home / News & Events / Centerstone Receives Grant from Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation to Create Johnston City COVID Wellness/Recovery Group

Centerstone Receives Grant from Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation to Create Johnston City COVID Wellness/Recovery Group

Centerstone, a national leader in behavioral health care, received a $300,000 grant from the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation’s Covid School Wellness Initiative to provide mental and emotional health services to Johnston City School District students, families and school staff who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During the pandemic, the Johnston City School District has done everything possible to rally around students, parents, and teachers to ensure a positive, successful learning experience. Despite that effort, the lasting and ongoing effects of the COVID pandemic have left many needs related to the social emotional learning of children, ability of parents and teachers to support children, and teacher’s overall well-being still exist,” said Preston Simpson, Centerstone Clinical Coordinator.

“Students have been faced with increased anxiety and mental health concerns, as well as academic concerns. Parents have had to learn how to navigate new educational platforms, respond quickly to changing policies, and support their children’s social emotional needs.  Teachers have had to develop quick responses to the ongoing pandemic, while maintaining a positive learning environment, and taking care of themselves.”

To address these needs, Centerstone and the school created “JC COVID Wellness/Recovery” – a group that plans, coordinates and executes several activities centered on teamwork, communication and education for students, parents and teachers alike.

“The goal of the group is to positively help the Johnston City School District overcome and remain resilient despite ongoing adversity,” Simpson said.

While “JC COVID Wellness/Recovery” will create additional activities that will positively impact all students, parents, and teachers, a primary response to the schools identified needs will create additional supports for middle and high school students through the addition of a district social worker. This additional social worker will work alongside the existing district social workers to assist students with developing social emotional learning, building increased individual resilience, and addressing ongoing needs. 

“The Covid School Wellness Initiative is an attempt by ILCHF to address emotional stress and distress caused by the pandemic,” said Amy Starin, PhD, LCSW, ILCHF’s Senior Program Officer for Mental Health. “What is unique about it is that we encouraged applicants to address the emotional wellness of not only children, but also parents, caregivers and school staff.”

Centerstone is a nonprofit health system providing mental health and substance use disorder treatments. Centerstone’s mission is delivering care that changes people’s lives and they achieve that mission through a robust offering of services and programs, including (but not limited to):

  • Mental health counseling
  • Addiction recovery
  • Children and family services
  • Residential care
  • Crisis services
  • Intellectual and developmental disabilities services
  • Therapeutic foster care

Centerstone provides its services nationally through the operation of outpatient clinics, residential programs, the use of telehealth and an inpatient hospital. We also feature specialized programs for the military community, employee assistance programs (EAP), and are a partner of the National Football League’s NFL Life Line. Centerstone’s Research Institute provides guidance through research and technology, leveraging the best practices for use in all our communities. Centerstone’s Foundation secures philanthropic resources to support the work and mission of delivering care that changes people’s lives.

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