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Identifying and Meeting Needs of Our Communities

Over the years, Erikson Institute has been committed to expanding our reach, access and availability through the services offered by the Center for Children and Families. Recently, at Jose de Diego Community Academy and with a grant from the Pritzker Family Foundation, we were able to expand our School-Based Mental Health Project by adding a staff person to the school 3 days a week. Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist Alynn McCormick is there to provide classroom consultation, reflective consultation, professional development, family engagement, and parent-child therapy for students, families and staff serving preschool through second graders.

Having this onsite support within the school contributes not only to the students’ academic success, but also to their individual, family and community well-being. In May of 2023, through this connection, we were informed that the school would be welcoming a number of newly arrived families seeking asylum who were in need of supplies. Our community immediately sprang into action developing a way to support those families throughout this time. As a result, Erikson held a month-long clothing drive in June 2023 for the new families of the Jose de Diego community. We collected bags filled with clothing, shoes, toys and more. There were three drop off locations around the building and the boxes were transported to the school on a weekly basis.

With the generous funding from the Pritzker Family Foundation, we are excited to continue the expansion of our School-Based Mental Health Project over the next two years. This will allow us to provide support at the school/administrator level and to families and their young children at two additional schools and three faith-based organizations. The expansion of these services will ensure that more infants and young children have equitable access to the resources they need to support their mental health and well-being. For more information on the work that Erikson has done and its future, read our 2023 Year in Review and Impact Report.

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