If you or anyone you know is struggling, please know it's okay to ask for help.

There are many resources available for free!


Screening, Assessment, and Support Service (SASS) Can Help.

Screening, Assessment, and Support Service (SASS) is a statewide crisis program for children and youth. SASS provides intensive mental health services for children and youth who may need hospitalization for mental health care. SASS will also provide crisis intervention, linkage, and coordination of services to other community-based mental health agencies for aftercare and outpatient treatment. The SASS program's main focus is to stabilize the family and maintain the youth at home and in the community. The program has a single point of entry, the Crisis and Referral Entry Service (CARES).

The following criteria will be applied to determine eligibility based on age and insurance status:

  • Children and youth under the age of 18 seeking public funding for psychiatric services through the Department of Human Services
  • Any child or youth enrolled in Illinois Healthcare and Family Services Medicaid Program or Medicaid Managed Care Organization
  • Any child or youth whom DCFS has legal responsibility

A SASS crisis worker will respond to the youth in crisis to complete a crisis screening and make recommendations on appropriate mental health care, which may include community-based services or inpatient hospitalization. The crisis screening can be provided in-person, over the phone, or through video, as requested by the family.

If you need SASS services, contact the Crisis and Referral Entry Service (CARES) line at (800) 345-9049.

The SASS program is administered by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.