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Support Lines in Illinois You Can Call or Text Today

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In the state of Illinois, mental health services are becoming more accessible by the day. There are a growing number of state support lines: hotlines for emergencies, warm lines for when you just need to talk and helplines to connect you to the resources and agencies you may need right now.

I’ve used the Illinois support lines a number of times in my own mental health journey. They’ve helped me discover local agencies for counseling and psychiatric services; as well as connected me to important services like adult protective services. I’ve also used the warmline when I just needed to talk to someone but was unable to get a hold of specific doctors or counselors.

Almost all Illinois support lines are confidential and only require you to share a first name — you don’t have to provide any additional information to them until you sign up for services. It’s understandable if you don’t feel comfortable, but it’s worth noting that the state has made it as safe and as confidential as possible to do so.

Here are 10 Illinois support lines you can call today:

Looking for free phone support from recovery specialists? Try contacting the Illinois Warm Line, available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. at 1-866-359-7953. From the main menu, select option 2 for consumers and families. Next, select option 5 for the Warm Line: Peer and Family Support by Phone. Interpreters are available in hundreds of languages. Staff are also adept at conversing through video relay services.

— If your child is a risk to themselves or others, having a mental health crisis, or if you would like a referral to services for children, youth and families, call the 24-hour Crisis and Referral Entry Services (CARES) line to talk to a mental health professional. 1 (800) 345-9049 TTY: 1 (773) 523-4504.

— For anyone struggling with anxiety or mental health problems due to quarantine, there is the new Illinois Call4Calm COVID-19 warm line. Text TALK to 552020 for English or HABLAR for Spanish. It’s free and available 24/7.

— For people struggling with opiate addiction, the state of Illinois will help you find resources with or without insurance. Call the Illinois Opiate Support Line at 1-833-2FINDHELP.

For help with gambling problems or addictions, Illinois provides the We Know The Feeling support line. You can call 1-800-GAMBLER, text ILGAMB TO 53342 or visit their website to be connected to resources and treatment programs.

Want to stop smoking? Try calling the Illinois Tobacco Quit Line at 1-866-Quit. They provide help and support, materials and pamphlets, classes, tools and patches, access to professionals, and services for businesses as well as individuals.

The Illinois Poison Center is a free, 24/7 and confidential hotline that offers information and treatment advice about potentially harmful substances to Illinois residents and healthcare professionals. Call 1-800-222-1222 or visit here.

NAMI Illinois offers service referrals as well as support groups. Call The National Alliance on Mental Illness Information Helpline Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.– 5 p.m. 1-800-950-6264 or 312-563-0445 in Chicago. The Chicago number can provide you with all of the other current county services numbers and information.

— Although support lines are for just in-the-moment assistance, it’s possible they may connect you to different services. The Illinois Department of Human Services’ website can provide you with a complete listing of service providers by county.

— To find more local resources in your area — counseling, support groups, outpatient services, residential treatments and more — visit To Write Love On Her Arms.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for locally, try one of these U.S. National Support Lines:

The following support lines are available nationwide to Mighties living in the United States.

  • You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
  • You can reach Crisis Text Line 24/7 by texting “START” to 741-741.
  • You can call The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ+ crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline, 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386.
  • You can reach the Trans Lifeline at 1-877-586-8860 if you live in the U.S.
  • If you are hard of hearing, you can chat with a Lifeline counselor 24/7 by clicking the Chat button on this page, or you can contact the Lifeline via TTY by dialing 1-800-799-4889.
  • To speak to a crisis counselor in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454.
  • If you are a veteran (or your loved one is a veteran), you can reach the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255 and pressing 1. You can also send a text to 838255.

It’s important to acknowledge that support lines are not permanent solutions — they’re in place to get you help and resources in the moment. If you continue to struggle, consider seeking out long-term mental health care and/or case management. Personalized professional care can be so much more effective.

Asking for help can be hard, but it doesn’t make you weak. Please don’t be afraid to use these services — it’s why they exist.

Getty image via Nastco

Originally published: July 13, 2020
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