Megan Butz Legacy of Hope awards $100,000 to 2024 grant recipients; organizations provide mental health services for young adults in the Chicago area

Megan Butz Legacy of Hope, a 501(c) (3) organization, today announced it has awarded $122,000 to Chicago area not-for-profits addressing mental health and suicide prevention for youth and young adults ages 14-24 years.

An all-volunteer organization formed in June 2023, the mission at Meg’s Legacy is to strengthen the lives of at-risk teens and young adults without resources so they may navigate the path to adulthood through mental health programming and support. Larry and Mary Jo Butz founded Meg’s Legacy in remembrance of their oldest daughter, Meg, who died suddenly at age 26 in 2020.

“We all have mental health, the same way we have physical health, and it affects how we think, act, and feel,” said Mary Jo Butz, co-founder. “No matter who we are or what we’ve been through, we should strengthen our minds and pay attention to finding support when we are not feeling good or healthy.”

Not-for-profit organizations receiving grants include:

• Barrington Youth and Family Services: $12,000 for drop-in, after-school counseling program at Prairie Middle School, Station Middle School and Harper College.

• Chicago Psychoanalytical Institute: $25,000 for on-site in-school counseling at schools near Chicago’s loop.

• Saint Anthony’s Hospital: $35,000 for staffing their school-based therapy and PATH program to strengthen the lives of at-risk youth and young adults in Chicago.

• Partners for Our Communities: $25,000 for the “Skyward Bound” counseling program in 2024 and a $25,000 commitment for 2025. Skyward Bound provides counseling for recipients in the Northwest suburbs.

“We were truly impressed by the programming and dedication of the staff at each of the organizations who applied,” said Larry Butz, founder of the organization. “The selected programs directly align to our mission of suicide prevention and mental health support, and we are confident we can help make an immediate difference in so many lives.”

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), 4.8 million people in Illinois live in a community that does not have enough mental health professionals, making treatment difficult, if not unattainable.

“Organizations prioritizing mental health support for youth and young adults ages 14+ are the focus of Meg’s Legacy grants. Preferred causes include support around mental health and suicide awareness, coaching and life skills,” said Butz.

Meg’s Legacy of Hope is a 501(c) (3) based in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. The nonprofit aims to support mental health services through funding initiatives for teenagers and young adults managing their mental health.

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