New Initiative with Google Public Sector Aims to Improve Access to Children’s Behavioral Healthcare Resources

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Governor JB Pritzker joined the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) and Google Public Sector on Monday to announce the creation of BEACON (Behavioral Health Care and Ongoing Navigation): A Service Access Portal for Illinois Youth. Powered by Google Cloud’s secure, scalable, and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing technology, the new state-of-the-art online portal will provide a user-friendly experience for Illinois families to access behavioral and mental health resources for children. The Division of Mental Health (DMH) at DHS is collaborating with Google Public Sector to deliver this ongoing statewide transformation. The centralized point of access will improve the experience of families engaged with the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the Department of Public Health (DPH), and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The development of the BEACON portal moves the State closer to accomplishing the five goals recommended by the Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative:

1. Streamlining processes to make it easier for youth and families to access services,

2. Adjusting capacity to ensure the right resources are available to youth in need,

3. Intervening earlier to prevent crises from developing,

4. Increasing accountability to ensure the State has a transparent system, and 

5. Developing agility so that the system can adjust to meet the evolving needs of youth.

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