Earlier this year, the Kane County System of Care (KCSOC) and the Kane County Regional Office of Education hosted the 2nd annual Youth Voices Forum on Mental Health. This virtual event created a space for youth to have their voices heard as they shared their thoughts, experiences, and insights related to mental health.
The full report has been released with findings and suggestions provided by the participants. The needs fall into three general areas:
- More spaces for youth to talk about mental health
- Greater access to supportive adults with knowledge of mental health
- More access to reliable mental health information
The report and presentation are now available online at KaneHealth.com/Pages/ChildrensMental-Health.aspx.
“Mental health is significant in the development of children and is an essential part of their overall health,” said Kate McCormack, Community Health Initiatives Coordinator, Kane County Health Department. “According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have, or will have a serious mental illness. Sadly, there is often a delay of as long as 10 years between when a child’s symptoms begin and when they start treatment.”
Students and staff from eleven Kane County High Schools participated in the Forum, including: Geneva High School; Mades-Johnstone Center; Bartlett High School; Larkin High School; South
Elgin High School; Dream Academy; Elgin High School; Dundee-Crown High School; Jacobs
High School; Central High School; and Hampshire High School.
KCSOC is a coordinated network of community providers and parents that are led by the Kane
County Health Department. The network includes representatives from multiple sectors,
including: juvenile justice, early childhood, substance abuse services, community mental health,
federally qualified health centers, parent and community supports, domestic violence and sexual
assault services, K-12 education, mobile crisis response, and parents who have children engaged
in the mental health system.
For more information about KCSOC, visit KaneHealth.com/Pages/Childrens-Mental-Health.aspx