District 90, along with Oak Park District 97 and Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200, have introduced a mental health resource for middle and high school students called, Support4U. This mental health-related prevention and support resource enables students to text licensed mental health clinicians 24/7 for assistance or guidance. While this anonymous resource is available to deal with any issue, some of the matters that students might wish to address could include anxiety, depression, substance use, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, bullying, abuse, or any other mental health-related topic. The clinicians’ goal during the text conversation is to steer the student to available resources in the school and community. In cases with an identified threat of extreme danger, clinicians have the ability to alert local authorities.
The social workers in all three school districts have been trained on the workings of the system, and have been identified as key contacts in case of emergency. Similarly, the Oak Park and River Forest Police Departments are aware of the resource’s capabilities and are continuing their long history as strong supporters of mental health resources for community youth.
The Community Mental Health Board of Oak Park Township, River Forest Township, the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, NAMI, and the Oak Park-River Forest Rotary Club are generously underwriting the cost of this resource for the coming year.
Support4U is expected to be an effective measure in continuing to elevate the mental health of our young people. Please look for additional information about Support4U that will be forthcoming.