CHICAGO – To bring attention to the importance of mental health and wellness, state Rep. Fran Hurley, D-Chicago, is highlighting Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month and an initiative she recently supported to expand telehealth and mental health services amidst the COVID-19 health crisis.
“When lawmakers returned to Springfield for session in January there was no way to know what the coming months would bring,” said Hurley. “This crisis made it clear that access to affordable mental health and wellness resources is incredibly important, especially as so many families continue to face uncertainty.”
Hurley is highlighting PTSD Awareness Month. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA), more than 8 million Americans over the age of 18 have PTSD and people who have experienced traumatic events, like a pandemic, run a higher risk of developing PTSD.
Hurley has been a continued advocate for mental health and wellness for area residents by regularly hosting Mental Health Mondays throughout the community. Last year, as a part of her continued work to increase access to mental health resources and support first responders, Hurley passed a legislative package to expand mental health resources available to police officers.
Hurley was also instrumental in the creation of the First Responders Suicide Prevention Task Force and serves as Co-Chair, and has continually worked with advocates to develop solutions, including Modie Lavin, Senior Family Outreach Coordinator with the Road Home Program, a mental health treatment program based out of Rush University Medical Center. During the recent emergency special session Hurley also supported Senate Bill 1864, a measure to expand access to telehealth care and mental health care and work toward more affordable insurance for Illinoisans.
“To help make sure residents have easy access to the health resources they need, I worked to expand much-needed telehealth and mental health resources, which have become more critical throughout this crisis,” continued Hurley. “Prioritizing your mental wellness is just as important as your physical health, especially during these uncertain times when life has changed so drastically for many families across the state.”
Hurley is encouraging residents experiencing anxiousness or other mental health issues due to the pandemic or other stressful situations to contact the free Illinois Call4Calm mental health text line by texting TALK to 552-020 to be connected to a local counselor who can provide information on available resources.
For more information, reach out to Hurley’s constituent service office at 773-445-8128 or RepFranHurley@gmail.com.