DuPage Foundation awarded $75,000 in grants to six DuPage County not-for-profit organizations that provide mental health services and programs to children and teenagers. The grant opportunity developed after the Foundation received a $75,000 gift last year from a donor who wished to remain anonymous and requested the funds be granted to support mental health services in DuPage County.
The following organizations were selected to receive a grant:
ALIVE Center - $25,000
To expand the teen drop-in hours and peer mentoring program in Naperville and to support the launch of their new center in Hanover Park.
The Community House - $15,000
To expand group and individual therapy for 30 teens in Willowbrook Corner.
KidsMatter - $10,000
To support an in-person and live-streamed parent forum and a resource fair.
Northeast DuPage Family and Youth Services - $8,500
To expand the reach of mental health counseling for youth who have been referred based on the results of their Signs of Suicide survey.
Teen Parent Connection - $6,500
To expand group-based parenting and therapeutic counseling services for young families with the addition of monthly in-person Self Care Social Groups.
World Relief Chicagoland - $10,000
To launch an after-school club for immigrant and refugee middle school teens in DuPage County.
In July, 2021, DuPage Foundation created a working group and held several roundtable discussions with not-for-profit organizations that provide mental health services to help determine the needs among the community and strategies to yield the greatest impact through the grant funds.
“Though many pressing issues were discussed in the first roundtable, supporting mental health services and programs for children and teens rose to the top,” said Barb Szczepaniak, DuPage Foundation vice president for programs.
A subsequent roundtable discussion was held in September with not-for-profit organizations that specifically provide youth programs to learn how they support mental health.
“Through these discussions we learned an alarming number of middle and high school teens are struggling with depression and anxiety and many are having a difficult time re-socializing after experiencing isolation and loneliness during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Szczepaniak. “We also learned that there are not enough qualified mental health providers to meet the growing demand and myriad strategies are being employed to expand services despite limited staff.”
In November, 2021, the Foundation sent out a request for proposals for projects that would enable organizations to expand mental health support for youth. To be eligible to apply for the grant opportunity, not-for-profit organizations needed to fulfill the following requirements:
- The organization must be a DuPage County 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
- The proposed project must primarily benefit DuPage County teens.
- The proposed project must be implemented in the first quarter of 2022 and funds expended by June 15, 2022.
- The organization must have applied for a Community Needs grant within the past three years and attended one of the roundtable discussions held in July or September.
For more information about DuPage Foundation’s grant opportunities, please visit dupagefoundation.org/grants.