Chicago parents, here’s where you can find mental health resources for your kids

Learn how to help your kids stay happy, healthy and learning this school year. Find links to free resources and where to get child therapy in Chicago.

classroom kids smiling
Students from North Lawndale College Prep High School work on the etymology of medical terms, a dual-credit course in conjunction with Malcolm X University in Chicago, on Aug. 30, 2019. Manuel Martinez / WBEZ
classroom kids smiling
Students from North Lawndale College Prep High School work on the etymology of medical terms, a dual-credit course in conjunction with Malcolm X University in Chicago, on Aug. 30, 2019. Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

Chicago parents, here’s where you can find mental health resources for your kids

Learn how to help your kids stay happy, healthy and learning this school year. Find links to free resources and where to get child therapy in Chicago.

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Chicago kids have plenty to be stressed about.

Between the pandemic, gun violence, active shooter drills, social media and economic uncertainty, more and more kids are reporting that their mental health has taken a hit. Last fall, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared the state of child and adolescent mental health in the U.S. to be a national emergency.

But for Chicago parents, a lack of available mental health resources can make finding help for kids just as stressful. That’s why WBEZ is compiling a list of some of the resources available in Chicago – whether that’s advice for how to talk to your kids, or how to find free or bilingual therapy.

Thank you to our fellow journalists at The Triibe, Chalkbeat and the Chicago Sun-Times for identifying some of the resources included in this guide. If you have questions about how to access resources – or if you’d like to suggest one to add to this guide – please email Engagement Editor Alex Keefe at akeefe@wbez.org.

Don’t forget: You can also watch our virtual event about answering your child mental health questions.

Ahead of the 2022-2023 school year, WBEZ and Illinois Latino News are aiming to help parents prepare to keep their kids healthy while learning. Community Conversations/WBEZ

Where can I find resources for supporting my child’s mental health myself?

  • Free in-person mental health first-aid training in English and Spanish is available from Association House of Chicago. The Humboldt Park-based organization offers the training twice a month that teaches you how to “identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and addictions.”

  • “Talking to Kids You Love” is a collection of short, English-language videos from The Family Institute at Northwestern University about how to speak to children on difficult topics, like how to express anger, encourage empathy and face their fears.

  • “Healthy Minds, Thriving Kids” is a series of videos in English and Spanish from the Child Mind Institute for parents, students and educators. The videos teach mental health skills, along with an implementation guide. Topics include how to understand your feelings, how to relax and how to manage intense emotions. (h/t Chalkbeat)

  • The Child Mind Institute Family Resource Center also offers FAQs in English and Spanish for parents on 30 topics related to child mental health, including anxiety, sleep, and drugs and alcohol. (h/t Chalkbeat)

Where can I go for direct therapy or counseling services for my child?

The Family Institute at Northwestern University offers free therapy for families and children who qualify with graduate students-in-training and licensed therapists through its Bette D. Harris Family & Child Clinic.

Addresses: Teletherapy, Chicago (Loop), Evanston, Northbrook, Westchester

Languages: English, with limited Spanish available

Ages served: All ages

Payment: Free

Phone: 847-733-4300, option 2

Association House of Chicago

Addresses: 1116 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, Ill., 60651 (Humboldt Park)

Languages: English and Spanish

Ages served: All ages

Payment: Sliding scale, also accepts Medicaid and other insurance

Phone: For Medicaid, call 773-772-8009, ext. 6721. For BlueCross PPO or private pay, use ext. 6820 or email bh-bcbs@associationhouse.org

La Rabida Children’s Hospital

Addresses: 6501 S.Promontory Dr., Chicago, Ill., 60649 (Jackson Park)

Languages: English and Spanish

Ages served: 0-17

Payment: Free counseling through the Chicago Child Trauma Center

Phone: 773-374-3748, ext. 2221

ACCESS Humboldt Park Family Health Center

Address: 3202 W. North Ave., Chicago, Ill., 60647 (Humboldt Park)

Languages: English and Spanish

Ages served: All ages

Payment: Sliding scale, also accepts Medicaid and other insurance

Phone: (773) 278-1880

BUILD Chicago

Address: 5100 W. Harrison St., Chicago, Ill., 60644 (Austin)

3328 W. North Ave., Chicago, Ill., 60647 (Humboldt Park)

Languages: English and Spanish

Ages served: Typically ages 6-24

Payment: Free services, also accepts Medicaid and other insurance

Email: Jessica Carillo, Director of Clinical & Community Wellness Programs, jessicacarillo@buildchicago.org

Phone: (773) 227-2880

Saint Anthony Hospital: Community Wellness Program

Address: 3810 W. 16th St., Chicago, Ill., 60623 (North Lawndale)

2826 W. Cermak Rd., Chicago, Ill., 60623 (Little Village)

4195 S. Archer Ave., Chicago, Ill., 60632 (Brighton Park)

4600 S. Wood St., Chicago, Ill., 60609 (Back of the Yards)

Languages: English and Spanish

Ages served: All ages

Payment: Free services, also accepts Medicaid and other insurance

Phone: (773) 522-5299

Mount Sinai Hospital: Under the Rainbow

Address: 1500 S. California Ave., Chicago, Ill., 60622 (Douglas Park)

Languages: English and Spanish

Ages served: 3-18

Payment: Free services, also accepts insurance

Phone: (773) 257-4750

Sista Afya focuses on providing therapy and wellness services to Black women and girls. (h/t to The Triibe)

Address: 1817 E. 71st St., Chicago, Ill., 60649

Languages: English

Ages served: Adults, teen girls ages 13-18

Payment: Limited free therapy, sliding scale, insurance

Phone: (773) 234-7994

Metropolitan Family Services

Address: Teletherapy + 7 locations, with therapy for children and teens only available at:

3249 N. Central Avenue, Chicago, Ill., 60634

5210 Main St., Skokie, Ill. 60077

Languages: English, Spanish, Polish, Assyrian and Korean

Ages served: 5 and older

Payment: Sliding scale for uninsured clients, self-pay at full rate for insurance you don’t wish to use

Phone: (773) 371-3645

Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4)

Address: Teletherapy + child & adolescent therapy at two locations

2542 W. North Ave., Chicago, Ill., 60647 (Logan Square)

4740 N. Clark St., Chicago, Ill., 60640 (Ravenswood)

Languages: English and Spanish

Ages served: All ages

Payment: Free services, sliding scale payment, and also accepts Medicaid and other insurance

Phone: (773) 769-0205

Erikson Institute, Center for Children and Families

Address: Teletherapy +

451 N. Lasalle St., Chicago, Ill., 60654 (River North)

3948 W. 26th St., Chicago, Ill., 60623 (Little Village)

6832 W. North Ave. Chicago, IL 60707 (Oak Park)

Languages: English and Spanish

Ages served: birth to 8 and their caregivers

Payment: Free (based on need), sliding scale, Medicaid and private insurance. In-network for BlueCross BlueShield Illinois, BCBS Community Health, Meridian, Molina, TriCare and others.

Contact: Visit this site to make an appointment, or call 312-709-0508 (English) and 312-934-6446 (Spanish)

Christian Community Health Center is a trauma-informed center of care that provides teen and young adult individual therapy, as well as adult, older adult and family therapy.

Address: Teletherapy + 3 locations

9718 S. Halsted St., Chicago, Ill., 60628 (Washington Heights)

901 E. Sibley Blvd., South Holland, Ill., 60473

364 Torrence Ave., Calumet City, Ill., 60409

Languages: English

Ages served: No services for children younger than 6. Middle childhood services offered on a case-by-base basis. Teen therapy available.

Payment: Sliding scale, also accepts Medicaid, CountyCare and private insurance

Phone: (773) 344-4100, option 1


Steven Arroyo is an Engagement Producer on WBEZ’s Community Engagement Team. Email him at sarroyo@wbez.org. Alex Keefe is the Engagement Editor. Follow him at @akeefe.