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Our Priorities

School-Based
Behavioral Health

We work to systematically address trauma experienced by Chicago youth.

In one group of eight Chicago Public Schools, 96.3% of students screened positive for trauma.In those same schools, individual and group therapy is helping decrease trauma-related emotional and behavioral symptoms by 75%.

Our Work With Children’s Research Triangle (CRT)

Children’s Research Triangle (CRT), an organization providing clinical and school-based therapeutic services to children and their families, has been a partner organization of Michael Reese since 2011 when Michael Reese provided a grant that allowed CRT to expand its school-based behavioral health services. 

CRT works with school site liaisons who refer students needing therapy and who support the coordination of scheduling students so CRT’s clinical therapists can provide therapy on-site in the school setting. This model provides regularity in contact and a safe space for a student and their therapist to meet. Dr. Linda Schwartz, CEO of CRT, has been working with students for over two decades. 

Regardless of what the future looks like for Chicago Public Schools, Dr. Schwartz and her team are prepared to continue meeting the needs of their current and future clients. 

“We’ve worked in closets, in utility rooms. Wherever the school has the space, we’ll make it work. We partner with schools in communities where schools have very little, if any, mental health interventions for students.

When Governor Pritzker ordered schools to close state-wide in the middle of March of 2020, my team and I made sure Children’s Research Triangle was prepared and started communicating with our clients about the use of teletherapy. 

Now that we’ve all adjusted, it feels more comfortable for clients. We have greater access and reach through telehealth. We made the decision that no matter what the future looks like after COVID-19, we’d continue providing teletherapy.

Early in the pandemic, we added an anxiety and depression screening to our  teletherapy sessions for clinicians to administer bi-weekly. 

We’re certainly seeing an increase in these areas in our clients. We have a lot of clients who are in therapy because of abuse or neglect or domestic violence. None of that has gotten any better in this time. Most of our clients live in communities that have not only been hardest hit by COVID-19 but also by increased violence. All of the risk factors we would take into consideration have been monumentally exacerbated.

Dr. Linda Schwartz, CEOChildren’s Research Triangle (CRT)

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