BOLINGBROOK, Ill. – To raise attention about disparities in mental health care and help local residents access mental health resources, state Rep. Dagmara “Dee” Avelar, D-Bolingbrook, is recognizing July as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

“One in five Americans experiences a mental illness each year, with mental health affecting how a person acts, feels and thinks as well as how they make choices and handle stress,” Avelar said. “Yet for too long, there have been disparities in mental health care and access to services. That’s why I’m drawing attention to available mental health resources and highlighting work to reduce disparities in care as part of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month this July.”

Observed every July, National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is used to highlight barriers to mental health treatment in minority communities. Among people experiencing mental illness, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), less than one-third of racial or ethnic minorities received mental health services compared to nearly half of whites. Barriers to accessing mental health services among minority communities include a higher likelihood of lacking health insurance or being underinsured, not enough support for mental health care in medical assistance programs, and language barriers.

To help reduce disparities in mental health care, Avelar backed House Bill 158, which was signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, to raise payment rates paid to mental health care providers in the Illinois medical assistance program. Avelar is also highlighting free resources that are available 24/7 for mental health care:


  • Call 4 Calm is an emotional support text line where residents can speak anonymously with a mental health professional and be linked to a local counselor. To access Call 4 Calm, residents can text “TALK” to 552020 or “HABLAR” for service in Spanish.
  • The Crisis Text Line is also available for text-based mental health support and crisis intervention by texting 741741.

Rep. Dagmara
Rep. Dagmara “Dee” Avelar

(D-Crest Hill)
85th District

Springfield Office:
265-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-4179

District Office:
107 W. Boughton Road
Suite B
Bolingbrook, IL 60440
(815) 372-0085