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Advancing the Human & Civil Rights of People with Disabilities in Illinois


Kids in Crisis Project

Up to 20% of Illinois students face emotional or behavioral issues that impact school success. In low-income areas that number is even higher. Many children in our communities are also exposed to trauma of violence, abuse or chronic stress, that puts them at higher risk for developing mental health issues. Early intervention is the most effective way to help children with mental health issues. Even where mental illness is not preventable, children who receive support early can lead lives less impacted by these issues. Children with mental health needs may be served in school through special education services.

Our Kids in Crisis Project provides free legal assistance and outreach to low-income elementary school age children with mental health needs in Illinois and their families to ensure appropriate educational and behavioral services in the school setting.

The services we provide include:

  • Free legal advice (and representation in select cases) to students with disabilities who have mental health issues to ensure that they are receiving appropriate special education services;
  • Partnerships with community-based mental health agencies;
  • Training and outreach materials for families, community partners, and pro bono audiences about the legal rights of children with mental health needs in school settings.



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For more information about our Kids in Crisis Project, contact:

Olga Pribyl

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Last updated: March 27, 2019

This website is made possible by funding support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, both the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of Equip for Equality and do not necessarily represent the official view of any of these agencies.

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