Center for Childhood Resilience Continues to Build Program Centered Around Mental Health Needs of Community

January 09, 2023

The Center for Childhood Resilience (CCR), is an innovative, public health program within the Pritzker Department of Psychiatry led by Executive Director, Colleen Cicchetti, PhD. CCR is dedicated to promoting access to high-quality mental health services for children and adolescents across Illinois and nationwide. Founded in 2004, CCR develops, evaluates and disseminates mental health best practices to promote systems change, increase access and reduce mental health disparities. Our expert team leads innovative training, develops new interventions, and builds strong city and statewide school and community collaborations.

Using a public health approach to address the impact of trauma and promote mental wellness, CCR helps build the capacity of other institutions to implement and sustain effective programs. For example, in partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education, CCR is leading the Resilience Education to Advance Community Healing (REACH) Statewide Initiative. REACH helps Illinois’ schools and school districts create healthy learning environments that protect, support and heal. To date, 399 schools in 209 districts have created REACH teams. Our new REACH Learning and Resource Hub (RLRH) provides free, on-demand learning on trauma-responsive practices and policies, and fosters personal and professional resilience, social-emotional awareness and self-care.

CCR is also expanding a collaborative program between the CCR and Chicago Public Schools. The Behavioral Health Team (BHT) model, developed by a team led by Dr. Cicchetti, helps schools implement protocols to identify students in need of mental health support, link them to school and community-based services and monitor their progress. Already piloted in more than 200 Chicago Public Schools, CCR is working with the district to expand BHTs to all 515 schools by 2024.