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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. You can access this lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-8255 (English) or 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.

There are other hotlines you can call for targeted support for specific mental health issues. These include:

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Chicago: 1-833-626-4244
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: 1-800-662-4357
  • The National Eating Disorder Association: 1-800-931-2237
  • The Trevor Project (LGBTQ+ Support): 1-866-488-7386
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

#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 support 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 regular check-ins with your young person to talk about what they are feeling and experiencing. You can use this resource, Supporting Your Student’s Mental Health, to help guide you. 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:

For specific questions or resources, please contact

For specific mental health related questions or resources, please contact

Substance Use Resources

To support the CPS community, OSHW has resources available to support you, or a loved one, connect with substance use treatment or information.

For non-crisis substance use support, please contact

There are other hotlines you can call for targeted support for specific substance use issues. These include: at 800-662-HELP (4357)

Supporting Priority Student Groups

Our commitments to equity and meeting all students are reflected within the targeted supports available to high-need student groups.

With LGBTQ+ youth facing mental health challenges at higher rates than their peers, our District employs a comprehensive set of strategies to enhance school climate and make schools safer and more welcoming to LGBTQ students. For more information, please view our LGBTQ+ Supportive Environments page.

CPS is also committed to supporting the mental health of our students in temporary living situations (STLS). CPS schools and networks provide assistance in removing barriers to qualified students, including the provisions of services such as transportation, school uniforms, school supplies, fee waivers, and referrals to community resources. For more information, please review our STLS page, call 773-553-2242, or email

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.

Tools to Promote Mental Health

Offering Tools to Promote Mental Health for Students age 18+, Staff, and Parents/Caregivers

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day—a reminder to all of us that mental health is a critical issue for our CPS community, especially in the wake of the pandemic. We recognize that COVID-19 has created and exacerbated mental health challenges for our students, staff, and families, and we are addressing that reality head-on.

To begin with, CPS is growing the number of counselors and social workers in our schools and implementing a universal Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum that is rooted in trauma-informed practices and a restorative approach to student discipline. We are also investing in mentorship and mental health support from highly qualified providers, and have now adopted a Comprehensive Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Policy. CPS is also moving closer to our goal of establishing Behavioral Health Teams (BHTs) in every school and has partnered with the Born This Way Foundation and Find Your Anchor on Please Stay - a mental health initiative created to address increased rates of depression, suicide, and anxiety disorders among young people.

In addition to these resources, we want to share that CPS is partnering with an organization called Big Health to provide two personalized digital programs that use cognitive and behavioral techniques to address poor sleep, worry, and anxiety.

  • Sleepio is a sleep improvement program that teaches you to establish healthy sleep patterns to get a better night’s sleep and wake up energized.
  • Daylight is an app that helps you gain control over your worry and anxiety by addressing the underlying causes of worry and teaching techniques that can be practiced in as little as a few minutes a day.

Sleepio and Daylight are available at no cost to the parents and caregivers of CPS students. Users must be 18+. Try Sleepio today at, and Daylight at, access code CPS.

CPS employees can access these programs at and

For more information on the mental health services being provided by CPS, please visit