We are living in stressful times. For some of us, the stress can turn into distress that threatens our mental health. Here are two free, easy-to-access resources that can help you in times of trouble:
Americans now have a new and memorable number to call if they’re having a suicidal or mental health crisis—988.
Anyone can call, text or chat at the number, which launched in July and is a part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network.
Suicide rates in the U.S. have been inching up for decades. In 2021, more than 3.5 million people reached out to the suicide hotline.
Now people can call 988 when they’re experiencing a mental health crisis.
The 988 call system operates the same way as the National Suicide Hotline has for years. Like the 911 emergency line, it will just be an easier number for people to remember.
Mental health experts say that any time you make help easier to access, it’s a huge win.
When you are in crisis and your mental health is threatened, you need a safe place and a chance to talk to a licensed clinician. Ideally this place would be more comfortable and comforting than a doctor’s office or an emergency room.
That is the idea behind the National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI) “Living Room.”
The NAMI Metro Suburban staff and volunteers have created three sites in the suburbs of Chicago that are warm and welcoming spaces, which they are calling the Living Room.
Open every day of the year, the Living Room is free of charge and open to all persons 18 years of age and older.
Based on data from local hospitals and law enforcement officials, each Living Room is open when the needs are the greatest—from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Each Living Room has a full-time clinician on staff, supported by certified recovery support specialists with real-life mental health experience.
“It’s important to care for the whole individual,” says NAMI Metro Suburban Executive Director Kimberly Knake. “Clinicians and recovery specialists often help guests with issues such as housing, life skills, employment and more.”
If you are feeling anxious, upset, scared, angry, or are experiencing an increase in your typical mental health symptoms, a Living Room is open for you at these locations:
To learn more about NAMI Metro Suburban’s community-based programs, visit their website.