Project SUN is a Strong and Unified Network that is family-driven and youth-guided. It is dedicated to strengthening the children's behavioral health system of care in Kankakee County through a coordinated network of services and supports that address the needs of the whole child. Project SUN is a strong and unified network that is family-driven and youth-guided. It is dedicated to strengthening the children's behavioral health system of care in Kankakee County through a coordinated network of services and supports that address the needs of the whole child.
A system of care is: A spectrum of effective, community-based services and supports for children and youth with or at risk for behavioral health or other challenges and their families, that is organized into a coordinated network, builds meaningful partnerships with families and youth, and addresses their cultural and linguistic needs, in order to help them to function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life. Core values for systems of care specify that they are a community based, family driven, youth guided, and culturally and linguistically competent. Guiding principles call for a broad array of home- and community-based services and supports, individualized care, evidence-informed services, and coordination across child-serving systems. (Pires, 2010, Building System of Care: A Primer)
Complete online surveys to help guide what will be done to help children flourish by having greater access to behavioral health supports and services in Kankakee County.
Parents, caregivers, teens, and individuals providing behavioral health services and supports are encouraged to become involved with one of the Project SUN Workgroups. Teams are responsible for helping to implement activities to enhance access to behavioral health services for youth and adolescents in Kankakee County. We currently have six teams:
To join a team, contact us at (815) 304-5933.
The Kankakee-Iroquois Help Information Network (Kan-I Help) connects residents of Kankakee and Iroquois counties, in east central Illinois, with government agencies, human services, and non-profit organizations.
Browse over 650 local and national organizations that benefit individuals and families, including:
Follow Project SUN on Facebook for tips for taking care of your mental health, engaging activities for your children, and more.
Join an online learning community! The Project SUN Wordpress page was designed to offer community members and local professionals alike the chance to browse helpful resources and comment with their thoughts and questions.
Project SUN is guided by a Community Planning Team and several Work Groups. Teens, parents, and other family members are working alongside representatives of mental health, primary healthcare, early childhood, schools, courts and law enforcement, child welfare, faith-based institutions, civic organizations, and governmental agencies to enhance the current community-based system of care.
This initiative is funded by a seven-year grant to the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley from the Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation. This is one of five Children’s Mental Health Initiative 2.0 projects in Illinois funded by the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation. Visit the ILCHF website to learn more about the work they are doing.
Nicole Smolkovich - Executive Director, Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley
Jackie Haas - President & CEO, Helen Wheeler Center for Community Mental Health
Debra Mayconich Baron, PhD Augustina Rios
Mariah Garratt, MBA Theresa Mitchell, CFPP
Support for Project SUN will enable us to provide expanded assistance for families served by the Kankakee County Children's Behavioral Health System of Care. For example, financial support can help grant youth the opportunity to enroll in extracurricular enrichment activities which will benefit their mental health. Funding might also provide a stressed caregiver with a much-needed self-care experience.