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Cook County Department of Public Health Awards $14.7 Million in Funding

Feb 22, 2023 | News, Press Release

County Department of Public Health Awards $14.7 Million in Funding
Grants will support behavioral health and harm-reduction in suburban Cook County

FOREST PARK, Ill – Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today joined Cook County Commissioner Alma E. Anaya (7th District), Cook County Health (CCH) Chief Executive Officer Israel Rocha and Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) Chief Operating Officer Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck at a press conference to announce the recipients of $14.7 million in CCDPH’s Building Healthier Communities: Behavioral Health Initiative grants to support behavioral health services, positive youth development, and opioid overdose prevention and harm reduction programs throughout suburban Cook County.

Eighteen (18) community-based organizations and agencies (CBOs) received grants ranging from $250,000 to over $1 million. The funding will be dispersed over a four-year period. The grant is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury under the “American Rescue Plan Act” (ARPA). The Building Healthier Communities: Behavioral Health Initiative will address inequities in mental health and substance use in suburban Cook County. The initiative was built on a foundation of equity and inclusivity and aims to increase and enhance access to a full continuum of integrated and equitable behavioral health and substance use services, support, and treatment for suburban Cook County’s most vulnerable communities.

“This initiative strengthens our commitment to promoting and building health equity across the County,” said County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “It focuses on the significant and negative impact that inequities in mental health and substance use have on the people and communities in suburban Cook County.”

Data shows that behavioral health needs have increased globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the U.S., the presence of depression and anxiety increased by more than 25% in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 50% of Americans reported recent symptoms of an anxiety or depression, and 10% felt their mental health needs were not being met.

According to the National Institutes of Health, people who are more likely to experience mental illnesses or disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic, include: children, mothers, and pregnant people; people from racial or ethnic minority groups; people with financial or housing insecurity; people with disabilities; and people with pre-existing mental illnesses or substance use problems.

CCDPH announced an open call for applications from October 2022 to January 2023 for CBOs in suburban Cook County providing these services.

“The vision of achieving health equity for all residents of Cook County drives all our work. This grant program allows us to support organizations in effecting positive change and implementing behavioral health strategies at the community level in areas where they are needed most,” said CCH Chief Executive Officer Israel Rocha.

Eligibility Requirements

CCDPH received 140 applications requesting over $120 million in funding. The grant application process was streamlined to encourage all interested CBOs to apply. CCDPH also hosted workshops to familiarize applicants with the legal requirements and grant application skills, such as program design, monitoring, and reporting. All qualified applicants received three independent reviews and scores from zero to 100 on a set rubric. CCDPH averaged the scores to create a priority list that it then used to identify grant recipients.

Grant Recipients

The following 18 Building Healthy Communities: Behavioral Health Initiatives grant recipients represent more than 30 priority communities throughout suburban Cook County where significant health equities exist, providing residents access to essential behavioral health and harm-reduction services. Congratulations!

Mental Health

  1. Hoffman Estates Department of Health and Human Services ($250k)
  2. Shelter Inc. ($250k)
  3. Black Alphabet ($250k)
  4. YWCA Metropolitan Chicago ($1M)
  5. Arab American Family Services ($1M)
  6. Legacy Medical Care ($1M)
  7. Asian Health Coalition ($1M)
  8. NAMI Metro Suburban ($1M)

Positive Youth Development

  1. Kenneth Young Center ($250k)
  2. Playworks Illinois ($250k)
  3. Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault ($250k)
  4. Girls on the Run Chicago ($1M)
  5. Pillars Community Health ($1M)
  6. Big Brothers Big Sisters ($1M)
  7. Youth Guidance ($1M)

Opioid Overdose Prevention

  1. Family Guidance Centers ($1.3M)
  2. Housing Forward ($1.2M)
  3. Proactive Community Services ($1.3M)

“We know that the pandemic has exacerbated mental health and substance use challenges for Cook County residents and their families,” said CCDPH Chief Operating Officer Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “So, we’re looking forward to working with our community partners to help meet the critical needs of our residents and help them chart a healthier path forward. We value the lifesaving contributions of all organizations that applied and hope to find creative ways to amplify their good work throughout the community.”

For more information about CCDPH’s Building Healthier Communities: Behavioral Health Initiative grantees, visit and follow CCDPH on Facebook , Instagram , LinkedIn , and Twitter for continued news and updates.