Improving Resilience & Mental Health

In communities throughout Chicago and nationwide, Lurie Children's is dedicated to building resiliency and promoting access to high-quality mental health services for children and adolescents.

Why this needs our attention

On average, only 1/4 of children in need of mental health support get the help they need, and of those receiving treatment, approximately 70-80% receive treatment in a school or a community-based setting. For many kids, schools will be the first and sometimes only setting where they receive behavioral health supports.

What Lurie Children's is doing to address it

Lurie Children's takes a public health approach to mental health care. Since 2004, the Center for Childhood Resilience (CCR) at Lurie Children's has worked to build the resiliency of children and youth with a focus on under-served and under-represented populations throughout Chicago and Illinois. Through innovative, sustainable and evidence-based strategies, CCR engages youth-serving organizations to address the impact of trauma and promote mental wellness.

CCR collaborates with educators, community agencies, civic and government leaders, parent organizations, faith-based organizations, and philanthropic groups who work with and advocate for children including the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition and Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership. Through their You Are Not Alone (YNA) project, CCR has collaborates with organizations who have expertise working with marginalized youth and families to broaden the number of trained mental health providers and equip non-mental health professionals with resources. Within Lurie Children's, CCR partners with Strengthening Chicago's Youth (SCY) and the Injury Prevention and Research Center (IPRC) to advance trauma-informed best practices.


  • In 2015-2016, CCR trained more than 2,300 school and community-based clinicians and staff to improve support for youth struggling with emotional issues and ongoing traumatic stress.
  • In 2017, over 1,200 community providers, educators, lawyers, parents, pediatric medical providers and mental health clinicians were impacted by "You Are Not Alone" trainings focused on addressing the mental health needs of refugee, immigrant, LGBTQ, religious and ethnic minority youth and families.
  • CCR has partnered with 9 school districts across Illinois to build the capacity of school-based clinicians and staff to implement trauma-informed practices and deliver proven evidence-based mental health services.
  • CCR leads Lurie Children's trauma-informed care initiative aimed at implementing trauma-informed approaches throughout systems of care within the hospital.
  • CCR collaborate with the Chicago Department of Public Health for Healthy Chicago 2.0 aimed at improving the health and well-being of Chicago's youth disproportionately impacted by violence and trauma, and building a trauma informed Chicago.


The Center for Childhood Resilience