HomeCommunity IssuesChinese American Service League of Chicago awarded $1M

Chinese American Service League of Chicago awarded $1M

A non-profit serving Chicago’s Asian American community with direct services announced Thursday it received a $1 million dollar grant from Cook County.

The money for the Chinese American Service League will go towards fighting domestic violence, assisting youth and seniors with cognitive disabilities and serving those youth with mental health struggles.

The funds come months after the second annual Change in Sight survey highlighted the social factors causing major health risks in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the Midwest. Those include poverty, social isolation, stress, the limited ability to speak English and lack of disaggregated data.

“Immigrant communities and people of all ages are entitled to lead healthy lives. That cannot be achieved without equitable access to culturally appropriate behavioral health interventions, whether that be mental health counseling, special needs services, or domestic violence support,” said Winnie Lam, CASL’s Director of Clinical Services.

The county’s Stronger Together Initiative awarded CASL the grant along with 52 other groups that serve the most vulnerable populations.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle called it a “historic opportunity to make meaningful change in Cook County for generations.” 

60 clients currently receive mental health treatment at CASL, bringing the total treated to 200 people since 2021 when the program began. The grant will go toward treating adolescents with additional support for their families to help them navigate family relationships, identity issues and life in America.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found suicide is the leading cause of death among AAPI youth, yet the community as a whole is the least likely to seek mental health treatment.

CASL will also be able to expand its crisis intervention services to address domestic violence and to provide legal assistance and educational opportunities.

“Our programming is unique because of its preventative approach layered on top of victim advocacy,” Lam said. “We want to ensure that potential perpetrators are stopped before they ever commit domestic violence, and to help treat victims who unfortunately experience it.”

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