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Mental Health

Chicago Public Schools recognizes and values the importance of mental health support and services for the well-being of our students, staff, and school communities.

We commit to promote, provide, and develop a robust continuum of care through the convergence of policy creation, behavioral health services, multi-tiered systems of social and emotional support, restorative practices, and community partnerships to advance an equitable culture of mental health and wellness across the district.

Resources for Students

If you or someone you know has thoughts of suicide, has experienced trauma, or wants to talk with someone about overwhelming thoughts and feelings, we encourage you to talk with a trusted adult. This may include a parent, guardian, or adult in your school. Your school’s Behavioral Health Team (BHT), which may include a nurse, psychologist, counselor, or social worker, can help you get the support you need.

For anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide, know that you are not alone and there are immediate resources available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential services 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 (English) and 1-888-628-9454 (Spanish). 

If you have thoughts of depression, anxiety, loneliness, suicide, or are in a crisis, you can connect to a Crisis Counselor 24/7. To reach the Crisis Hotline, text HOME to 741741 or call the National Youth Crisis Hotline at 1-800-448-3000.

#PleaseStayPledge Campaign

CPS is thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with Born This Way Foundation and Find Your Anchor on Please Stay — a new campaign that reminds students of the importance of prioritizing their mental health and supports that are available to them. We are encouraging all teachers, school and community leaders, counselors, and other school staff to help students find their anchors over the course of the school year.

Additional Resources for Students

Resources for CPS Staff

If you suspect a student is experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge, refer the student to your school’s clinician (school nurse, counselor, social worker, or psychologist) or Behavioral Health Team (BHT). If you believe a student is in crisis, you must refer the student to a clinician in the building immediately. If a clinician is unavailable, call the CPS Crisis Hotline at 773-553-1792 or the Student Safety Center at 773-553-3335.

Resources for Caregivers

Anytime is a good time to ask a young person how they are feeling. Have check-ins with your young person to talk about what they are feeling and experiencing. If a young person tells you that they have been feeling hopeless, has thoughts of self harm, an inability to concentrate, or other signs of emotional distress, connect them to a healthcare provider.

To connect a young person to a healthcare provider:

  • Clinicians in schools may help connect families to local healthcare providers.
  • CPS students can access healthcare through a School-Based Health Center (SBHC). Locate a SBHC near you.
  • The CDPH Community Resource Directory can help identify a healthcare provider to fit a student’s specific needs.
  • OSHW CFBU Coordinators are available to assist families with enrollment, engagement, and utilization of free health care services throughout Chicago. They can be reached at 773-553-KIDS (5437).

For specific questions or resources, please contact OSHW@cps.edu.

School Policy

CPS adopted the Comprehensive Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Policy in March 2022. This policy establishes a comprehensive approach to mental health, suicide awareness, and prevention that is applied consistently throughout the district.