Children’s Mental Health Plan

ICMHP plan image

Announcing the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Plan!

ICMHP was charged with developing and monitoring a plan to build comprehensive and coordinated mental health services, programs, and supports for Illinois children and their families. The Partnership created its initial plan in 2005, with a brief update to the strategic priorities in 2012. We are excited to announce that for the first time in 17 years, ICMHP and the State of Illinois have developed a new Children’s Mental Health Plan to improve the overall wellbeing of all Illinois youth and families.



The Illinois Children’s Mental Health Plan Release Webinar

During Children’s Mental Health Week and Mental Health Month this year, we  announced the release of our highly anticipated Children’s Mental Health Plan for Illinois where we shared our journey to develop the Plan and our goals for improving child and family mental health and wellness. The webinar  featured remarks by ICMHP Interim Chair Dr. Sameer VohraICMHP Director Amanda M. Walsh, and Dr. Dana Weiner, the newly announced Director of the Governor’s Office Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative. The webinar provided an overview of the Plan’s 5 goals.

Over the past 17 months, ICMHP has worked with stakeholders from across the state to develop a systematic, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary plan that would address the needs of children, families, and communities. Our priority from the start has been to use a whole child and family approach that prioritizes equity, diversity, and inclusion. In order for the State of Illinois to be best prepared to serve the mental health and wellness of all children, families, and communities we developed five goals, which were shared each day during Children’s Mental Health Week through our newsletter and social media accounts.

Watch Release Webinar

Plan development process

In addition to our community input, the Plan was being developed through four working groups:

  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Prevention
  • Early Intervention
  • Treatment

These workgroups were charged with creating recommendations to address the unique needs that a child and their family will face at different points of time and across systems on a mental health and wellness continuum. The workgroup processes were led by our Steering Committee, whose role was to help align the recommendations across all four workgroups into one final Children’s Mental Health Plan. More information about our Steering Committee is below.

You can access information about the Plan and development process here. If you have questions, please email

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee was made up of workgroup co-chairs, system experts, the ICMHP Interim Chair, ICMHP Director, and ICMHP staff. The following button titled “Member Resources” allowed Steering Committee members to access background materials and general information that aided in the Plan development process. All Steering Committee meeting minutes and final materials developed by the Steering Committee are available below.


Steering Committee Members

Andrea Durbin, AM

*ICMHP Appointee

Social Determinants of Health Workgroup Co-Chair
Chief Executive Officer
Illinois Collaboration on Youth (ICOY)

Niya Kelly, MA, JD

Social Determinants of Health Workgroup Co-Chair
Director of State Legislative Policy, Equity and Transformation
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Marlita White, MSW, LCSW

*ICMHP Appointee

Promotion and Prevention Workgroup Co-Chair
Director, Office of Violence Prevention and Behavioral Health
Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH)

Kathy Swafford, MD, FAAP

Promotion and Prevention Workgroup Co-Chair
Medical Director
Children’s Medical and Mental Health Resource Network

Jennie Pinkwater, MNM

*ICMHP Appointee

Early Intervention Workgroup Co-Chair
Executive Director
Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (ICAAP)

Kristine Argue-Mason, MPA

Early Intervention Workgroup Co-Chair
Executive Director
Partnership for Resilience

Regina Crider

*ICMHP Appointee

Treatment Workgroup Co-Chair
Founder and Executive Director
Youth and Family Peer Support Alliance

John T. Walkup, MD

Treatment Workgroup Co-Chair
Chair, Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health
Anne and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Margaret C. Osterman Professor of Psychiatry
Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

Julie Hamos

Systems Expert
Senior Policy Advisor at the Office of Medicaid Innovation  University of Illinois

Barbara Shaw

Systems Expert
Former Chair of ICMHP (2004-2014)

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