ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – As residents face the mental health challenges brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, state Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, is encouraging residents to talk with a mental health professional through the state’s emotional support text line Call4Calm.
“We are in uncharted territory in regards to the mental health consequences of this pandemic,” Walker said. “Fortunately, our state is home to a number of terrific mental health professionals who are working hard to help others.”
Walker is highlighting the Illinois Department of Human Services’ (IDPH) free-of-charge emotional support text line, Call4Calm. Individuals who would like to speak with a mental health professional can text “TALK” to 552020, or for Spanish, “HABLAR” to the same number. Within 24 hours, residents who participate will receive a call from a counselor employed by a local community mental health center. Individuals who reach out will remain anonymous, and they can also include key words in their text such as “unemployment” or “food” to receive information on how to receive support for those issues.
IDPH also recently announced the start of a text alert system for updates and information on COVID-19. Those interested in opting in to the service can text “COVID” to 312-500-3836. For Spanish, residents can text “COVID ESP” to the same number.
“Isolation, economic uncertainty and other factors are impacting all of us,” Walker said. “It’s important that everyone knows that someone is available to listen.”
More information on resources and the state’s response to COVID-19 can be found at coronavirus.illinois.gov.