Centerstone is teaming up with nine community partners to try to improve the mental health of children and communities in southern Illinois.
A 200-thousand dollar planning grant from the Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation will help develop a plan for at-risk kids in Jackson, Williamson, Franklin and Perry Counties.
Centerstone CEO John Markley says the plan will not only involve how to prevent a problem, but how to educate the community about mental health resources available.
"When it's spotted in the schools. When it's spotted in the hospitals. When it's spotted in different areas, people become educated about where help can be received and how they can work with the stakeholders in the community to help address some of these issues early on."
Markley says they'll work together on community education and treatment.
"We're in many of the schools and work with many of the schools and this is addressing many significant issues that we're seeing, not only in health departments and the hospitals and in the FQHC's, but it's addressing many issues that we're seeing in mental health and with our youth today in the school systems."
If the planning process is successful, in November 2019, Centerstone and its partners will receive a second grant of 2.1 million dollars over six years to implement their plans.
Partner groups include Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Southern Illinois University System, Southern Illinois Healthcare, Shawnee Health Services, Jackson County Health Department, Southern Region Early Childhood, School Districts 99 and 2, the Regional Office of Education and eight parent and youth organizations.