The Village Model of Care Prioritizes the Health of Children in Foster Care
Our Village Model of Care makes certain that each child that enters our Villages has a dedicated support system from the very start. From our full-time Foster Parents to our on-site case management, therapists, mentors, Village directors, support staff and more, the youth in our care are able to find safety and security in knowing they’re surrounded by a community that only wants the best for them. At SOS Illinois, we prioritize offering clinical services to the children and families we serve, working to change the narrative for children in foster care, who are 60% more likely to struggle with a mental health condition than children not living in out-of-home care.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, Healthy Foster Care American Initiative, mental and behavioral health is the “greatest unmet health need for children and teens in foster care.” The statistics for children in foster care in relation to mental health issues are alarming, especially considering the following statistics on youth mental health in the general population:
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34
- The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years
- 17.2% of the general population of high school students have “serious thoughts” of suicide, including 47.7% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14
- High school students with significant symptoms of depression are more than twice as likely to drop out compared to their peers
- 70.4% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosed mental illness
For youth in foster care, especially those within the LGBTQ+ community, these statistics are increased.
Psychotropic Medications Prescribed Present Alarming Concerns
Medications such as mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety prescriptions, antipsychotics and stimulants are being prescribed to youth in foster care as a method of treatment for behavioral and mental health issues in children as young as 3 years of age.
Research has identified alarming concerns in relation to the administration of these psychotropic medications, including the fact that oftentimes multiple medications are used simultaneously from the onset of treatment.
The SOS Illinois Village model of care presents daily, regular opportunities for youth in foster care to obtain guidance, counseling and support that offers a stable environment centered around the healing of traumatic events in their lives so that they may break free from the limitations set by their mental health conditions and eliminate their dependency on psychotropic medications.
SOS Illinois Provides Opportunities for Healing and Longevity
Each child that enters our Villages has a dedicated support system from the very start. From our full-time Foster Parents to our on-site clinicians, therapists, mentors, case managers, support staff and more, the youth in our care are able to find safety and security in knowing they’re surrounded by a community that only wants the best for them.
These children are offered a real chance at renewing their sense of trust and hope. They’re also able to heal from the traumas of their past while gaining footing on steady ground in an effort to provide them the confidence, skills and resources they need in order to become responsible and caring adults.
SOS Illinois Supports the #MIAW Campaign
We Are In This Together #MIAW
This year’s MIAW is centered around our new awareness campaign, “Together for Mental Health,” where the focus will be on the importance of advocating for better care for people with serious mental illness (SMI).
Mental Illness Awareness Week runs from October 3–9 and coincides with additional related events:
- Tuesday Oct. 5: National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding
- Thursday Oct. 7: National Depression Screening Day
- Saturday Oct. 9: NAMIWalks United Day of Hope
- Sunday Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day
You Are Not Alone
NAMI continues our year-long awareness campaign, You Are Not Alone, to feature the stories of people affected by mental illness to fight stigma, inspire others and educate the broader public. Now more than ever, the mental health community must come together and show that no one is ever really alone. No one should be without the information, support, connection and help they need.
How To Participate in #MIAW
There are many ways to get involved and remind people they are not alone by sharing stories about how connecting with someone during the health crisis has affected you, or what it means to have access to care by sharing through text, graphics, video or any other medium.
Follow SOS Illinois during the #MIAW Campaign
During Mental Illness Awareness Week, SOS Illinois will be sharing resources, insights, and wisdom about caring for your own mental health, and supporting the mental health of others. You can find us on our social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Additionally, we will be sharing information about the ways that our Village Model of Care helps to support the mental health of youth in foster care, and how you can get involved to help get our communities happy and healthy.