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District 47 Partners with Daybreak Health to Expand Mental Health Services for K-8 Students

Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 is excited to announce a new partnership with Daybreak Health, a leading provider of school-based mental health services. Starting April 2024, students from District 47 will gain access to 12 weeks of unlimited teletherapy sessions with qualified mental health clinicians from Daybreak. Access will be facilitated through referrals by D47 clinicians. District 47 is the first school district in Illinois to provide this evidence-based teletherapy program, and it's offered at no cost to families. 

 

District 47 supports the belief that students’ social and emotional well-being provides the foundation needed for all other learning to occur, recognizing that students’ academic success can suffer if they are experiencing mental health issues. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), one out of every six U.S. youth aged 6–17 experience a mental health disorder each year, making them three times more likely to repeat a grade. Based on data available in February 2021, more than half of people with a mental health condition in the U.S. did not receive any treatment in the last year. Of the 486,000 adults in Illinois who did not receive needed mental health care, 33.2% did not because of cost.

 

Access to high-quality mental care remains a significant barrier for children and their families. Recognizing this, District 47 sought to enhance its capacity to provide mental health support to a greater number of students and families. While not intended to replace long-term therapy provided by local practitioners, the introduction of this teletherapy program aims to assist students facing mental health challenges such as stress, anxiety, trauma, and depression, among others. 

 

Paid for with a school-based mental health grant, Director of Social Emotional Learning Kristin Schmidt believes this partnership will fill a much-needed gap for District 47 students. Schmidt emphasized, "This opportunity is not only enhancing student well-being but also fostering a positive school culture. By intervening early and providing tailored support, we anticipate a reduction in disciplinary actions, absenteeism, and the need for special education referrals as a result of these efforts."

 

Students will be referred to the program by District 47 social workers, counselors, and psychologists based on their needs and the accessibility of therapy to their parent(s)/guardian(s). The program is tailored to support K-8 students and their families collaboratively, offering 1:1 teletherapy for students ages 10+ and family teletherapy for students ages 5-10. Daybreak’s qualified mental health clinicians offer personalized guidance, support, and coaching to address the specific challenges faced by each child. These services are provided at no cost to families and include monthly check-ins with parents or guardians, check-ins with school staff, and a post-care plan following the last session. In addition to teletherapy, Daybreak will offer mental health classes for District 47 families and staff.

 

“Counseling accessibility is crucial for our families, and we're thrilled to be the first school district in Illinois to offer this additional support,” said Dr. Kathy J. Hinz, Superintendent. “Our district's strategic plan is focused on empowering all students as learners today and leaders tomorrow. Every student deserves to begin their school day ready to learn, and by addressing mental health challenges early, we're setting our students up for success not just in the classroom, but in their futures as well."

 

Daybreak Health partners with school districts to provide personalized mental health support to help students reach their full potential. Daybreak’s evidence-based teletherapy programs are designed for youth, with positive, demonstrated results including higher grades, increased levels of attendance, and better outcomes both at school and at home. 81% of students experience a reduction in symptoms after completing the 12-week program, nearly 92% of parents report improved symptoms at home, and 8 in 10 school staff observe more positive behavior at school. 

 

“I commend District 47’s mental health team who have worked hard to bring these services into their schools,” said Daybreak CEO Alex Alvarado. “They have been incredible partners in launching this program to ensure that these mental health services are equitable and accessible for all students and families in the District 47 community.”