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Centerstone Receives $300,000 Grant from Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation to Form Giant Steps Toward Wellness School for Giant City | Local News

WEST FRANKFORT – Centerstone, a national leader in behavioral healthcare, has received a $300,000 Covid School Wellness Initiative grant from the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation to provide mental and emotional health services to students, families and to school staff in the Giant City School District who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The social and emotional effects of the pandemic on adults and children are likely to be long-lasting,” said Giant City School Superintendent/Principal Belinda Hill. “A new era of school wellbeing is evolving to support students and families.”

Overcoming the negative effects of isolation, fear and lack of social interaction in children will be a shared responsibility between schools and families. To that end, Centerstone and the school have created “Giant Steps into Wellness,” a program that will focus on individual recovery and mental health services.

The goals of Leaps and bounds to wellness include:

• Promoting citizenship to students through social work services

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• Ongoing support and education for parents and school staff

• Promotion of well-being throughout the school system

• Increase support for teachers and staff to help overcome school-wide emotional issues

• Provide a public relations specialist to communicate with families and staff to increase feelings of support and knowledge

“The COVID School Wellbeing Initiative is an attempt by ILCHF to address the emotional stress and distress caused by the pandemic,” said Amy Starin, Ph.D., LCSW, senior program manager for the mental health of the ILCHF. “What’s unique is that we encouraged applicants to look out not only for the emotional well-being of children, but also parents, caregivers and school staff.”

Centerstone is a not-for-profit health system that provides mental health and addictions treatment. Centerstone’s mission is to provide life-changing care to people and they achieve this mission through a strong offering of services and programs, including (but not limited to):

• Mental health counseling

• Child and Family Services

• Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services

• Therapeutic foster family

Centerstone provides its services nationwide through the operation of outpatient clinics, residential programs, telehealth utilization and an inpatient hospital. We also offer specialty programs for the military community, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and are a partner of the National Football League’s NFL Life Line. Centerstone’s research institute provides guidance through research and technology, leveraging best practices for use in all our communities. The Centerstone Foundation secures philanthropic resources to support the work and mission of providing care that changes people’s lives. To learn more about Centerstone, visit