Behavioral Health in Schools

Mental Health

Violence Prevention

  • The Office of Violence Prevention and Behavioral Health (OVPBH) works to reduce the likelihood of violence related injury and death and support trauma recovery and healing across Chicago communities.
  • OVPBH’s Priorities:
    • Encourage evidence-based violence prevention programming.
    • Encourage the use of data driven decision making.
    • Encourage collaboration, coordination, and capacity building to strengthen violence prevention outcomes.
    • Mental Health Services for Child Survivors of Sexual Assault (CSA)
      • Provides trauma-informed clinical services to victims of child sexual assault and their families. CSA also provides prevention education to families and providers in high need communities.
    • Restorative Practices
      • Provides community-facing restorative practice (circle) training and dialogues to increase the use of restorative justice principles. This trauma-informed, nonviolent, and community-minded     approach prevents and/or interrupts violence in relationships among friends, renters and landlords, rival street groups, consumers and business owners, and others.
    • Citywide Collaborative for Bullying and Suicide Prevention
      • This initiative supports the Chicago Collaborative of Bullying and Suicide Prevention (CCBSP) which convenes local providers to raise awareness about resources, evidence-based interventions, and opportunities for prevention education and intervention supports.
    • Street Outreach
      • This program funds hyper-local organizations to hire, train, and deploy Street Outreach teams who actively engage persons at the highest risk of being involved in lethal conflicts in the communities that have the highest levels of shootings and other lethal interpersonal conflicts.
      • Services include coaching, case management, and service linkages.
    • Victim Services
      • Trauma-informed Victim Services program works in partnership with currently funded Street     Outreach (SO) organizations in communities that are most impacted by gun violence and lethal/non-lethal interpersonal conflicts.
      • In communities with some of the highest rates of victimization over a three-year period. Services include crisis incident response:
        • assistance with post-incident coping (funeral planning, crime victims fund application)
        • induction into counseling and recovery support
        • guidance and accompaniment (legal, media)
        • referrals to other family specific services
    • Services for People who Cause Harm
      • This program was launched as a part of the city's emerging focus on Gender Based Violence (GBV). It seeks to reduce violence and increase safety for GBV victims by creating innovative pathways to identify, engage, and serve individuals who are actively causing harm to their intimate partner while remaining outside of the reach of law enforcement systems.
    • Chicago Torture Justice Center (CTJC)
      • The CTJC engages and provides mental health supports including trauma-informed healing and     wellness services, linkages to needed resources, and connections to a peer led recovery community of persons with shared histories.
    • Trauma-Informed Training & Transformation
      • CDPH advocates for and co-leads multiple initiatives that support trauma-informed transformation within the department and among other organizations impacting life in Chicago, and across the State of Illinois.
    • City of Chicago residents who are interested or stakeholders in achieving community health and safety that affords everyone the opportunity to thrive.

Substance Use

    • The Chicago Department of Public Health Office of Substance Use provides resources and programs related to harm reduction, linkage to care, treatment, and recovery services for all Chicagoans:
      • Harm Reduction: The Office of Substance Use makes Narcan, fentanyl test kits, and harm reduction education and training available to all Chicagoans. 
      • Linkage to Care: The Office of Substance Use is working with the State Department of Human Services and treatment provider Family Guidance Centers to offer same-day, telephonic access to medications for opioid use disorder to all Chicagoans, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
      • Opioid data and information: The Office of Substance Use publishes regular data reports and provides resources in multiple languages for people in Chicago interested in learning more about opioids, opioid overdose, and opioid use disorder treatment. 
    • All Chicagoans are eligible to access all substance use resources provided by or funded by the Chicago Department of Public Health. These resources are available regardless of insurance status, documentation, or ability to pay.
    • For Narcan and/or fentanyl test kits, email 
      • To access flyers and brochures on these resources in 5 languages, here
    • Chicagoans can also access Narcan at ALL Chicago Public Library branches across the city. 
    • For immediate access to Medication Assisted Recovery (MAR), call the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and ask for MAR NOW. 
      • To reach the Helpline, call 1-833-2FINDHELP
    • To access Chicago opioid data, visit the Health Atlas
    • To view Chicago opioid reports and learn about opioid use disorder, visit our site

Behavioral Health

Schools are essential for young people to acquire knowledge, socioemotional skills including self-regulation and resilience, and critical thinking skills that provide the foundation for a healthy future. Learn about high quality resources around behavioral health on this page.

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