pexels andrea piacquadio 3755749SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) to permanently establish the Call4Calm text line to support Illinois residents' mental health needs passed committee Tuesday, falling in line with Mental Health Awareness Month.

“Call4Calm was a great initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic, and can still benefit those who struggle with their mental health even after this pandemic is over,” Van Pelt said. “Mental health outcomes are more concerning than ever before due to the public health crisis, and this text line is an essential outlet.”

House Bill 1805 requires the Department of Human Services to permanently establish the Call4Calm text line, which would be free of charge and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Call4Calm was launched as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, serving as a remote patient monitoring program that is a mental health support line available to everyone in the state of Illinois.

Once a resident sends a text to the hotline, within 24 hours they will receive a call from a counselor employed by a local community mental health center to provide support.

Anyone struggling with stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic in need of emotional support can text TALK to 552020 (or HABLAR for Spanish). People can also text key words such as “unemployment” or “food” or “shelter” and will receive information on how navigate and access supports and services.

“Anyone who has been struggling with their mental health before or during the pandemic should not be afraid to ask for help,” Van Pelt said. “Thanks to this initiative, help is just one text away.”

House Bill 1805 awaits to be heard on the Senate Floor.

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