connor 090121JOLIET – Thanks to support from State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport), the University of Saint Francis will receive a grant for a Certified Recovery Support Specialist Success program to prepare students for work as behavioral and mental health professionals.

“Our mental health system has been underfunded for decades, producing strains on the rest of our government systems that have resulted in the current mental health crisis we are facing,” said Connor. “The loss of mental health professionals needs to be addressed, so that we can work on solutions to this crisis instead of ignoring it as it grows.”

The Illinois Department of Human Services awarded $4 million in grants to 11 colleges and universities throughout the state, including University of Saint Francis, to support the CRSS Success program. Through the program, students will be prepared to work in various capacities, including inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance use treatment services, mobile crisis teams and more.

Additionally, the program will prioritize post-secondary education for up to 600 students who have lived experiences with mental health or substance use recovery. Students will receive funding for assistance with tuition, textbook costs, childcare, application fees and transportation.

“Thanks to the Cannabis and Regulation Tax Act and IDHS’s Division of Mental Health, we now have the funds for this grant that will allow for the training and education of students to become professionals in the mental health field,” Connor said. “I am thrilled that the University of Saint Francis will be able to offer this amazing program and opportunity to our future health care workers.”

A full list of colleges and universities offering the CRSS Success program can be found on the IDHS website.