High School YESS Mental Health Services grant
After learning that valuable mental health services for Joliet Township High School students were in jeopardy, Will County Center for Community Concerns Community Services Director Belithia Johnson knew something had to be done.
Partnering with the District, Johnson received a $15,000 Community Service Block Grant that was presented to the Will County Health Department recently Joliet Township High School Board of Education Meeting to provide payment for services.
As part of the Youth Experiencing Success in School (YESS) program, since 2005, the Will County Health Department has provided interns that facilitate one-on-one and group therapeutic mental health services on-site at the high school campuses.
Eliminating the need for referrals, direct access to mental health services has yielded positive changes in school climate for the District, with declines in the number of fights, assaults and expulsions since the program's inception. During the first semester of the school year, over 400 direct on-on-one student contact hours were provided by the Will County Health Department interns and over 100 students participated in group therapy sessions. The number of students receiving services for semester 2 are anticipated to rise, indicating the critical need for mental
health services in the high school.