Centerstone Receives Grant from Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation to Form Carterville COVID School Wellness Program

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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 Carterville School District students, families and school staff who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the overall health and wellness of students, parents, and school personnel continue to remain at the forefront of the minds of school administrators and mental health professionals alike,” said Preston Simpson, Centerstone Clinical Coordinator.

Students are transitioning back into the school environment, while still adjusting to the changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents are struggling to support their children academically and emotionally, while maintaining their own wellness. School personnel continue to juggle the need for safety, with the desire to create a positive learning environment for all students.

To address these needs, Centerstone and the school created “Carterville COVID School Wellness” – a group that aims to address the needs of students, parents, and teachers through new and innovative strategies to create a learning environment and overall community atmosphere where all are successful and feel positively connected to the school.

The goals of the “Carterville COVID School Wellness” program include:

  • Enhancing the ways in which teachers and school personnel can integrate social/emotional learning in the classroom through a digital platform
  • The addition of a district parent liaison who will assist with increasing parent engagement and support, and ultimately students
  • Increasing the number of home visits
  • Increasing awareness of mental health and the capacity for providing trauma-informed practices through education and support
  • Increasing self-care practices for school personnel through project driven initiatives that promote individualized self-care plans

 “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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