RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) — Promise Healthcare received $350,000 from The Health Resources and Services Administration to support mental health services in Rantoul City School District #137 and beyond.

The grant aims to help primary care providers meet the mental health needs of their patients. The school district and Promise Healthcare worked together to hold school exams and immunization clinics at J.W. Eater Junior High School before the fall semester started. Promise Healthcare plans to use the awarded money to create a new clinic within the school and expand access to youth mental health support. They are one of 77 community health centers in the country to receive the grant.

“Undiagnosed, untreated, or inadequately treated mental illnesses can significantly interfere with a student’s ability to learn, grow, and develop,” CEO of Promise Healthcare Jennifer Henry said. “The need for action on youth mental health is clear, and Promise Healthcare is taking action to address these critical needs.”

Rantoul was selected for the grant due to their distance from other community health centers, the surrounding community’s lower income levels, and a need for mental health services among young students.

“It is important that our students and their families have access to quality, affordable healthcare without having to make exceptional efforts to obtain transportation to Champaign-Urbana. This clinic increases access to healthcare in Rantoul,” School Superintendent Scott Woods said. “The greatest impact we anticipate is that more students will miss less school time because they are able to access health services during the school day and get right back to classes.”

Although the organization is on school grounds, Promise Healthcare’s services are open to everybody in the community. Henry said the new clinic will offer primary medical care, psychiatric services, and behavioral health therapy services, and that they hope to add additional services soon, including dental.

Promise Healthcare – Rantoul will be located at 424 East Wabash Avenue, inside the J.W. Eater Junior High School. It will open in December.