Onsite Assessments with Rosecrance connect Chicagoland youth with behavioral health services

Teachers and school staff often are the first to notice signs of distress in their students. Grades might suddenly slip, a teen’s peer group suddenly changes, or there could be incidents of alcohol, tobacco, or cannabis use on campus.

When these events happen, schools often seek easily accessible resources for teens. Rosecrance is meeting Chicagoland educators’ needs by sending staff to schools to provide assessments and connections to mental health or substance use services.

By being available in districts, the Onsite Assessments with Rosecrance (OAR) program removes barriers to care, surrounds youth with a large support network, and links families to a full continuum of services in northern Illinois. In addition, OAR therapists can provide behavioral health training to staff.

“By working so closely with schools, we build a village around each student we serve,” said Mary Egan, Rosecrance Director of Outreach. “Our staff is there to provide insight into what the student may be going through, answer questions about treatment options, and help the entire team understand how they can best support the teen.”

OAR has become a valued resource as students are back to school routines following several years of disruptions. With stress and anxiety remaining elevated among youth, educators are using Rosecrance staff to connect with more individuals who are showing signs of mental health concerns or unhealthy coping skills.

“Many of us, including youth, are not coping with life the best we could,” Egan said. “It is important that we are there to show youth how getting help now can give them tools to thrive in life.”

Following an initial evaluation and conversations, individuals receive a direct link to the most appropriate level of care. This may mean going through an evidence-based curriculum that emphasizes life skills and the benefits of a drug-free life. For those who would benefit from ongoing outpatient treatment, students are referred to licensed therapists who collaborate with the family to develop an individualized plan. If residential treatment is recommended, youth will transition to the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson campus in Rockford, then continue with outpatient care as needed.

If you are concerned about an adolescent, please contact Rosecrance’s caring Access counselors at 888.928.5278.