Mental Health Resources

Mental Health Services and Resources for City of Chicago Residents

Un[*]spoken is the City of Chicago’s first-ever mental health awareness campaign which seeks to improve awareness of and connection to publicly funded mental health services available to all residents.

Phone and Text Services:

  • The Illinois Department of Human Services: The Illinois Department of Human Services’ Mental Health Division has created a FREE emotional support text line, Call4Calm, for Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19. Those who would like to speak with a mental health professional can:
    • Text: TALK to 552020 English
    • Text: HABLAR to 552020 Spanish
Individuals will remain anonymous. Once a resident sends a text to the hotline, within 24 hours they will receive a call from a counselor employed by a local community mental health center to provide support. Individuals can also text 552020, with key words such as “unemployment” or “food” or “shelter” and will receive information on how navigate and access supports and services. Click here to find the Governor’s press release about Call4Calm, telehealth programs, and the Governor’s Youth Town Hall.
  • Mosaic Therapy Virtual Clinic has created a Virtual Clinic to help support youth and families during the current public health crisis and challenges associated with it. Mosaic Therapy is offering 6 FREE virtual counseling sessions for both children and families. Click here for more information. 
    • Call or text: 855-445-0636

National Hotlines: Please be prepared to wait “on hold” to speak to a hotline counselor given the increase in people seeking to talk to someone

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a variety of FREE resources if you, a colleague, family member, etc., are feeling overwhelmed about COVID-19 and need someone to talk to.
    • Call or text SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Hotline at: 1-800-985-5990.
      • This is a 24/7 hotline dedicated to emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
    • Text: TalkWithUs to 66746 
    • Read resources on their webpage here
  • The Crisis Text Line is a FREE service for folks to seek help and counseling about any type of crisis, include the coronavirus. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from their secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.
    • Text: HOME to 741741
    • Visit their site here
  • The National Suicide Prevention Hotline
    • Call: 1-800-273-TALK
    • Call: 800-784-2433 Toll-free    English
    • Call: 888-628-9454 Toll-free   Spanish
  • Trans Lifeline
  • There is a hotline provided through an emergency preparedness partnership between West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources (Bureau for Public Health) and the West Virginia Poison Center. Operators are available 24/7
    • Call: 1-800-887-4304 Toll-free

Resources and Guidebooks:

  • The National AfterSchool Association has written a guide on self-care practices for the afterschool field. The resource is free and provides a variety of activities for afterschool providers to utilize in order to manage stress and promote well-being. To review the guide, click here.

  • NAMI Chicago has developed a series of guides with resources for talking about mental health issues with students, grades 3 and above, and with adults. These resources highlight strategies and tips for speaking about mental health illnesses and the free support services that young people can access. To review these guides, click here.

  • The Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition has written a guide that aims to provide professionals from diverse sectors with a baseline of information to create orientations, trainings, and other professional development focused sessions related to childhood trauma. To learn more about this coalition and to access the guide, click here.

  • eSchool News has published an article sharing six useful resources for supporting students’ mental well-being as the pandemic continues. The article highlights the importance of taking time to work on breathing exercises with young people and promotes specific activities and frameworks for doing so. There are also strategies for talking about mental health, isolation, and grief with young people in a safe and trauma-informed manner. To read the full article, click here.

  • The Student Training & Education in Public Service organization has developed an in-depth guide for providers and families to use in order to support youth that have experienced, or may currently be experiencing, trauma. This guide is FREE and hosts a variety of information regarding trauma, how to recognize its manifestations in students, and resources for those seeking professional help. Click here to review the guide.
  • The Kennedy Forum Illinois is offering a FREE 60-minute webinar on managing stress during the COVID-19 pandemic for afterschool providers, interested community members, and youth. This training provides support, resources, and strategies to manage stress. To learn more and register, click here.

  • The Calm Classroom has produced an E-book on mindfulness-based techniques to be used to support the mental and emotional well-being of youth during the COVID-19 health crisis. Techniques are broken down by grade level from Preschool to 6th grade. To access the book, click here.

  • Breathe For Change has a variety of FREE wellness resources for providers and families to use in order to help students and children navigate difficult life experiences associated with the pandemic. Click here to access resources tailored to educator wellbeing.

  • The Coalition to Support Grieving Students has FREE modules and materials for afterschool providers and families to use when talking to youth who are grieving during the COVID-19 health crisis. To review practical considerations, learn language to support young people, and access professional care, click here.

  • EducationWeek Article: EducationWeek released a brief article sharing some ways program providers may integrate mental health supports in summer programming for youth. The article is a part of a series of webinars and resources from EducationWeek for educators and providers looking to access best practices for programming and social-emotional learning.

Resources for Elections:

My CHI. My Future.: Over the summer, My CHI. My Future. worked alongside Youth Commissioners to understand that what young people want most is a space with caring adults, to be heard, and a place to reflect on current events. To help to process current events, My CHI. My Future compiled a variety of mental wellness resources for young people, communities, and providers looking to foster conversations around the elections in their programming.

To access the full list of resources, click here.