AURORA, Ill. – State Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, is highlighting the various mental health resources available to Illinois residents who may be struggling with emotional or mental distress during the COVID-19 health crisis. 

“This is a scary time in history, and it is normal to be experiencing challenges or changes with your mental health,” said Hernandez. “Just as we would prioritize our physical health, we all must try to prioritize our mental health as well. Sometimes calling a friend, exercising, reading a book, or simply taking a digital break from all of the news around us can boost our moods during these uncertain times. But if your distress is taking a toll on your daily lives, seeking the help of a medical professional or just someone to talk to may be the best answer.”

The governor recently signed an executive order to expand telehealth services providing individuals seeking mental health treatment with more easily accessible help. Any resident seeking treatment should talk to their health care and insurance providers to learn about the services available to them.

Hernandez is urging any residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19 to utilize the free-of-charge emotional support text line, Calm4Calm, recently launched by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Mental Health Division. Individuals who would like to speak with a mental health professional can text “TALK” to 552020, or for Spanish, “HABLAR” to the same number. Residents can also call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990; both resources are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For additional resources, residents can visit or text keywords such as “UNEMPLOYMENT,” “FOOD” or “SHELTER” to the Call4Calm number.

“This is a stressful time, and anyone who is feeling sad, anxious, depressed or just not feeling like themselves during this pandemic should know that you are not alone,” said Hernandez. “Now more than ever, we should reach out to family members and friends who may be struggling and let them know there are people and resources available to them.”

Rep. Barbara HernandezRep. Barbara Hernandez

83rd District

Springfield Office:
233-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-1002
District Office:
540 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 270-1848