A REMINDER OF ILLINOIS’ TEXT LINE
(55-2020), PROVIDING SUPPORT DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Illinois Helpline Provides Quick Answers
to Questions about Available Resources to Illinois Residents During
COVID-19 Pandemic; Call4Calm Service Available to Residents
Experiencing Stress and Other Hardships
Send a link to a friend
[September 23, 2020]
The Illinois Department of Human
Services (IDHS) is reminding Illinois residents about the Illinois
Helpline, a resource for residents who need emotional support or
quick answers to questions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Illinoisans
can text “TALK” to 55-2020 (or "HABLAR" for Spanish) for the
Call4Calm service, or text their questions about services provided
by IDHS in communities across the state.
The text line is free of charge and designed to
support residents who have questions about services or who are
experiencing stress. In addition to the Call4Calm service, the text
number can help Illinoisans find help and guidance on other critical
issues during the pandemic. Residents can text keywords like
"UNEMPLOYMENT," "FOOD," or "SHELTER," to 55-2020 to receive
additional information in response.
“With today being 5-5-2020, we wanted to remind Illinoisans they can
text 55-2020 for a listening ear and support for hardships they may
currently be experiencing,” said Grace Hou, Secretary of IDHS.
“People who need help are not alone during this unprecedented
challenge. We are here for you and can answer many questions you may
have about available services.”
Once a resident texts “TALK” to the helpline, within 24 hours they
will receive a call from a counselor employed by a local community
mental health center to provide support. Calls are anonymous. Since
Governor Pritzker announced Call4Calm on April 11, 2020, nearly
2,000 individuals have texted the helpline. There are 62 Community
Mental Health Centers supporting the Call4Calm service.
[to top of second column]
In addition to their training as mental health
professionals, every counselor has received additional resources,
including tips for parenting during the Stay at Home Order,
materials for individuals experiencing or at risk of violence at
home, and other suggestions for reducing stress and coping with
social isolation, loneliness, fear, and other emotions related to
the current situation.
The Division of Mental Health at IDHS continues to monitor potential
sources of information and further training for counselors and will
share updated resources and guidance for everyone who provides
emotional support calls in order to offer the best service possible.
The Illinois Helpline also includes direct links to suicide
prevention phone and text lines, as well as domestic violence phone
and text lines. The Illinois Helpline is not a crisis line. If you
or someone else needs immediate assistance, please call 9-1-1.
Illinoisans can always visit www.dhs.illinois.gov/HelpIsHere or call
1-833-2-FIND-HELP (1-833-234-6343) for access to IDHS benefits,
services and supports.
[Illinois Office of Communication and