Federal Money will Help Champaign County Transform its Care for Emotionally Troubled Youth

October 06, 2009

A new approach to helping emotionally-disturbed young people is getting nine million dollars in federal money.

Champaign County's Mental Health Board is implementing a new effort called the Access Initiative with the help of the state Division of Mental Health. It's meant to bring families more into the process of assisting troubled youngsters, and it's especially aimed at African-American cultural sensitivities.

Peter Tracy is the director of the county mental health board. He says previous methods of treating those children have not succeeded over time.

"Office-based therapy has not often been really successful with that population," Tracy said. "The departure is that this is a kind of outreach program where services are brought to the client and family as opposed of having them go to the office."

Under the grant, those services would be funded on a per-child basis instead of as a lump sum. They hope to serve about 200 children and teens, with families helping determine what form that assistance takes.

Story source: AP

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