Alternatives, Inc.

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  • Investment to Date $635K
  • Students Served 4,927
  • Grantee Since 2021
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Alternatives, Inc (Alternatives) works with young people who lack access to essential needs and have experienced trauma. Founded in 1971, Alternatives provides behavioral health services, professional development, technical assistance, and restorative justice programming.

Why We Invested

High-quality social-emotional learning (SEL) and trauma-informed mental health services for youth are critical needs that the pandemic has exacerbated. For example, Lurie Children’s Hospital estimated that 44% of parents consulted with their child’s primary care provider about mental health concerns between July 2020 and February 2021. In response, Alternatives, Inc launched the Systemic Evaluation, Enhancement, and Institutional Training (SEEIT) program, which offers mental health-focused screening and resources to students and schools, including therapy services for youth and SEL-focused training for staff. In addition to its potential for impact, we believe that the SEEIT program has compelling systems-level scale potential given the district’s recent rollout of a framework to ensure the collective wellness for all Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students, staff, families, caregivers, and communities.

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead, Systemic Evaluation, Enhancement, and Institutional Training (SEEIT) will serve a total of eight schools which translates to 2,400 students. By year three, Alternatives Inc (Alternatives) aims to serve 7,500 students at 25 partner schools.