Mental Health Resources

Here you will find a list of crisis numbers you can use for immediate help, resources sorted by category, and answers to common questions.

Crisis Hotlines

Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Suicidal crisis/emotional distress
1-800-273-TALK

Nineline
For youth between 17 & 21 that are living on the streets or in a home that is not safe.
1-800-999-9999

Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence
For domestic violence
1-877-863-6338

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
For child abuse
1-800-25-ABUSE

Sarah’s Inn
For domestic violence
1-708-386-4225

Mujeres Latinas en Accion
For domestic violence of adults
1-312-738-5358

RAINN
For instances of rape, sexual abuse, and incest
1-800-656-HOPE

Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline
For sexual assault
1-888-293-2080

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
Teen dating abuse
1-866-331-9474

Safe Helpline
For members of the Department of Defense who are victims of sexual assault
1-877-995-5247

Neighborworks
To avoid foreclosure
1-888-995-HOPE

Samaritans
Suicide/emotional distress
1-212-673-3000

Kids Help Phone
For many kids’ issues
1-800-668-6868

Disaster Distress Helpline
In case of emotional distress due to violence or disasters of any kind
1-800-985-9990

STOP-IT
For sex trafficking
1-877-606-3158

S.A.F.E alternatives
For self-injury
1-800-DONTCUT

Resources
General
C4 (Local)

www.c4chicago.org

With multiple locations around Chicago, C4 provides services and referrals for mental health, substance abuse, and sexual assault trauma. They also provide classes about mental illness.

Mental Health America

www.mentalhealthamerica.net

Mental Health America is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental and substance use conditions and achieving victory over mental illnesses and addictions through advocacy, education, research and service.

Psychology Today

http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/

Browse Psychology Today’s extensive directory of the best therapists, psychologists and counselors near you.

Helpguide.org

http://www.helpguide.org/

Dedicated to helping you make better choices, find healthier ways to cope with problems, and resolve mental and emotional issues.

Medline Plus

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/

Brings you information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in a language you can understand. It offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime, anywhere, for free.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

http://www.nami.org

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.

National Institute of Mental Health

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

Offers information on a wide variety of mental health issues.

ADHD
Additude Magazine

www.additudemag.com

The website for Additude Magazine, a magazine that features strategies and support for adults and children with ADHD and other LD, including blogs, community support, and practical solutions to overcome stigma and live a happy, productive life.

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)

www.chadd.org

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) is a national non-profit organization providing education, advocacy and support for children and adults with ADHD.

www.help4adhd.org

The National Resource Center on ADHD is a comprehensive source of vital facts surrounding diagnosis, treatment, legal status, and education rights of those with AD/HD.

Anxiety
Anxiety and Depression Association of America

www.adaa.org

Anxiety and Depression Association of America is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to informing the public, health care professionals, and the media about depression and Anxiety Disorders.

Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center (Local)

www.anxietytreatmentcenter.com

The Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center in Northbrook, Illinois, is a specialty clinic that has been serving children, teens and adults who suffer from anxiety disorders, phobias, obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders (Tourette’s Syndrome, tics, body focused repetitive disorders such as compulsive skin picking and trichotillomania) and body dysmorphic disorder since 1983. The Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center also offers house calls and out of office exposure sessions.

www.calmclinic.com

Calm Clinic organizes some of the most important facts about how to treat anxiety and how to get help. It explains some methods anxiety sufferers can try themselves and also discusses various other treatment possibilities.

Autism-Spectrum (including Asperger’s)
Asperger’s Syndrome

www.aspergersyndrome.org

This Asperger’s Syndrome site is dedicated to providing information and advice to families of more advanced individuals with Autism, Asperger syndrome, and Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).

Autism Society

www.autism-society.org

Autism Society is the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization which exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism and autism-spectrum disorders.

Little Friends (Local)

www.littlefriendsinc.com

Little Friends is a private, non-profit organization serving children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities based in Naperville.

Bipolar Disorder
The Balanced Mind

www.thebalancedmind.org

The Balanced Mind is a comprehensive resource for families of youth with mood disorders.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

www.dbsalliance.org

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance is full of valuable resources such as bipolar screenings, on-line support groups, and search tools for peer-recommended doctors.

Healthline

www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder

Healthline is a comprehensive site for information on bipolar disorder.

Borderline Personality Disorder
National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder

www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.com

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder is a resource designed to inform the public about Borderline Personality Disorder.

Community Violence
ALSO Chicago (Local)

www.also-chicago.org

ALSO Chicago works locally and nationally to end street violence and intimate partner violence, understanding the connection between violence in the community and violence in the home. ALSO coordinates services with youth and families to create a better world.

BUILD Chicago (Local)

www.buildchicago.org

BUILD Chicago offers targeted services to enhance impact in four priority communities –  Austin, East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park and Logan Square – while continuing to provide support in other Chicago neighborhoods and throughout Cook County, including youth who have come in contact with the justice system to prevent and/or provide alternatives to detention and assist with successful re-entry into their home communities.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

www.samhsa.gov/trauma/

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s website serves as a gateway to a multitude of internet resources directed toward students and parents of children who have been victims of or witnesses to traumatic violence.

Depression
Anxiety and Depression Association of America

www.adaa.org

Anxiety and Depression Association of America is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to informing the public, health care professionals, and the media about depression and Anxiety Disorders.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

www.dbsalliance.org

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance is full of valuable resources such as screenings, online support groups, and search tools for peer-recommended doctors.

Families for Depression Awareness

www.familyaware.org

Families for Depression Awareness is a national nonprofit organization helping families recognize and cope with depression and bipolar disorder to get people well and prevent suicides.

Men Get Depression

mengetdepression.com

Men Get Depression is a very helpful site geared specifically to help men understand how depression can show up in their lives.

www.ppdil.org

Postpartum Depression Alliance of Illinois is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2001 to help Illinois women and their families’ access support and information about all emotional issues that can occur during pregnancy or within a year of delivery (called Perinatal Mood Disorders or PPMDs for short).

Domestic Violence
Apna Ghar (Local)

www.apnaghar.org

Apna Ghar provides holistic services to women and children across immigrant communities in the Chicago area to end the cycle of domestic violence.

The Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network (Local)

www.batteredwomensnetwork.org/

The Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network is a membership organization that unites the community through advocacy, education, and outreach for a common cause – to put an end to society’s tolerance of Domestic Violence in all forms.

Between Friends (Local)

www.betweenfriendschicago.org

Between Friends is a nonprofit agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and building a community free of abuse.

Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence

www.ilcadv.org

The Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) is a not for profit, membership organization that works to eliminate violence against women and their children by promoting the eradication of domestic violence throughout Illinois; ensuring the safety of survivors, their access to services, and their freedom of choice; holding abusers accountable for the violence they perpetrate; and encouraging the development of victim-sensitive laws, policies and procedures across all systems that impact survivors.

Mujeres Latinas en Accion’s Domestic Violence Program (Local)

www.mujereslatinasenaccion.org/Home/programs/domestic-violence/

Mujeres Latinas en Accion’s Domestic Violence Program (Pilsen) works to eliminate domestic violence and assists survivors to break the cycle of abuse in their families and in their lives. It provides comprehensive services to survivors and victims of domestic violence: information and referrals to crisis intervention, legal advocacy, individual and group counseling.

Rainbow House (Local)

www.rainbow-house.org

Located in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago, Rainbow House offers a variety of services to help domestic violence survivors transition to freedom from violence.

 

Sarah’s Circle (Local)

www.sarahs-circle.org

Sarah’s Circle is a non-profit agency with a mission of serving women who are homeless or in need of a safe space. Located in Chicago’s Uptown community, Sarah’s Circle has provided support for thousands of women.

Sarah’s Inn (Local)

www.sarahsinn.org

Sarah’s Inn works throughout the socioeconomically diverse region of Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods and Western suburbs. Sarah’s Inn provides comprehensive services for families affected by domestic violence so that they get the support they need to find safety, rebuild their lives, and heal.

 

Eating Disorders
ANAD

www.anad.org

ANAD is the oldest non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating the problems of eating disorders in the U.S.

The Awakening Center (Local)

www.awakeningcenter.net

With offices located in the Loop, Lakeview, and Des Plaines, The Awakening Center specializes in treating eating disorders but also provides general psychotherapy services for other disorders and illnesses. It remains committed to affordable treatment and accepts uninsured clients.

Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA)

www.bedaonline.com

Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) helps those who have binge eating disorder, their friends and family, and those who treat the disorder.

COR Retreat

www.cormn.org

COR Retreat is a 5-day retreat program in Minnesota for helping people overcome compulsive overeating and food addiction.

EDReferral

www.edreferral.com

EDReferral is the most comprehensive and easiest to search database of anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorder treatment professionals in the world.

N.A.M.E.D.

www.namedinc.org

The mission of N.A.M.E.D. is to provide support to males with eating disorders & to educate the public on the issue.

NEDA

www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

NEDA is dedicated to providing education, resources and support to those affected by eating disorders.

Homelessness
A Safe Haven (Local)

www.asafehaven.org

A Safe Haven provides the homeless of Chicago with mental and behavioral health treatment, housing, education, and job training with the end goal of “self-sufficiency with pride and purpose.”

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (Local)

www.chicagohomeless.org

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless features a variety of programs, including the Law Project, which provides legal aid free of charge to homeless students and unaccompanied youth. College scholarships for homeless students are also available through the coalition.

Chicago’s Food Bank (Local)

www.chicagosfoodbank.org

The network through which most food programs in Chicago are run, Chicago’s Food Bank is a channel for food to find its way to the hungry and food insecure. For short-term relief, they run pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, senior programs, children programs, and more.

Deborah’s Place (Local)

www.deborahsplace.org

Deborah’s Place is an organization that serves exclusively homeless women in Chicago and helps them find affordable housing and a reliable income.

Inspiration Corp

www.inspirationcorp.org

Inspiration Corp offer a series of programs, such as foodservice training, designed to help those affected by homelessness and poverty achieve their goals of self-sufficiency.

 

LGBT Resources
Affinity Community Services

www.affinity95.org/acscontent/

Affinity Community Services is a social justice organization that works with and on behalf of Black LGBTQ communities, queer youth, and allies to identify emergent needs, create safe spaces, develop leaders, and bridge communities through collective analysis and action for social justice, freedom, and human rights.

Center on Halsted (Local)

www.centeronhalsted.org

Center on Halsted is the Midwest’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland.

Howard Brown Health Center (Local)

www.howardbrown.org

Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) serves more than 18,000 adults and youth each year in its diverse health and social service delivery system focused around seven major programmatic divisions: primary medical care, behavioral health, research, HIV/STD prevention, youth services, elder services, and community initiatives. HBHC serve men and women, infants, youth, and children through a multi-site operation based in Chicago.

IntraSpectrum (Local)

www.intraspectrum-chicago.com/

IntraSpectrum is committed to providing an affirming therapeutic environment for the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and Intersex) population and beyond that supports the development of a strong professional relationship between clients and their therapists. The safety and strength clients draw from that solid therapeutic relationship allows them to feel more freedom to examine, embrace, and express who they really are.

Project Fierce Chicago (Local)

www.projectfiercechicago.org

Project Fierce Chicago’s mission is to reduce LGBTQ youth homelessness in Chicago by providing affirming transitional housing and support services to homeless LGBTQ young adults.

Mental Health Agencies with Sliding Scale Services
Cathedral Counseling (Local)

www.cathedralcounseling.org

Cathedral Counseling (an Episcopal organization) provides affordable treatment in its offices (located around the city) for a fee based on a sliding scale.

 

The Center for Personal Development (local)

http://www.chicagotherapist.com

The Center for Personal Development offers individual therapy, marriage/couples counseling, group therapy, life coaching, psychological assessment, and consulting services in the downtown Chicago and Lakeview neighborhood.

Chicago Women’s Health Center (Local)

www.chicagowomenshealthcenter.org

Chicago Women’s Health Center provides reproductive health services and counseling to women and trans-identified people. They do not deny anyone service based on inability to pay and use a sliding fee scale.

Community Health

www.communityhealth.org

Community Health is the leader in delivering comprehensive, high-quality, patient-centered health care at no cost to low-income, uninsured individuals in need of a medical home.

Turning Point (Local)

www.tpoint.org

Turning Point (located in Skokie, IL; serving the entire metropolitan area) provides outpatient individual and group therapy for all ages, psychiatric evaluation and medication monitoring, case management, and a residential living program. It provides services to all, regardless of insurance status, financial resources, or intensity of need.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Beyond OCD

www.beyondocd.org

Beyond OCD offers valuable facts about OCD, suggestions for treatment, high quality, user-friendly resources, and articles from experts as well as stories from people who live with OCD.

 

The Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Research Clinic

www.columbia-ocd.org

The Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Research Clinic works to improve current treatments, develop and test novel treatments, and determine the brain basis of OCD.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
The Chicago Center for Integrative Healing (Local)

www.theccih.com

The Chicago Center for Integrative Healing, located in Ravenswood, is an affordable health center dedicated to helping clients overcome trauma. It features traditional methods such as psychotherapy as well as nontraditional group sessions, mindfulness practice, and yoga.

PTSD Info

www.ptsdinfo.org

PTSD Info serves as a gateway to four nonprofit sites that offer comprehensive PTSD information and resources.

Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia.com

www.schizophrenia.com

Schizophrenia.com provides high quality information, support and education to loved ones whose lives have been impacted by schizophrenia.

Self-Injury
S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES

www.selfinjury.com

S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES is a nationally recognized treatment approach, professional network, and educational resource base, which is committed to helping you and others achieve an end to self-injurious behavior.

Cornell University

www.selfinjury.bctr.cornell.edu

A website for Cornell University’s research program on self-injurious behavior. This site is intended to summarize their work and to provide links and resources for information of value in understanding, detecting, treating, and preventing self-injurious behavior (SIB) in adolescents and young adults.

SiOS

www.sioutreach.org

As part of a collaboration between the University of Guelph and McGill University, SiOS is a non-profit outreach initiative providing information and resources about self-injury to those who self-injure, those who have recovered, and those who want to help.

Sexual Violence and Abuse
Band Back Together

www.bandbacktogether.com/Date-or-Acquaintance-Rape-Resources

Band Back Together is a story blog encompassing many difficult topics. The linked page provides accurate information about date rape, or acquaintance rape.

CAASE

www.caase.org

CAASE addresses the culture, institutions, and individuals that perpetrate, profit from, or support sexual exploitation. Their work includes prevention, policy reform, community engagement, and legal services.

The Chicago Center for Integrative Healing (Local)

www.theccih.com

The Chicago Center for Integrative Healing, located in Ravenswood, is an affordable health center dedicated to helping clients overcome trauma. It features traditional methods such as psychotherapy as well as nontraditional group sessions, mindfulness practice, and yoga.

Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center

www.chicagocac.org

Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center is the city’s only not-for-profit organization that brings together law enforcement professionals, child protection staff, family advocates, medical experts and mental health clinicians under one roof to address alleged abuse, reduce trauma and provide resources so that children and families may begin the healing process.

It Happened to Alexa Foundation

www.ithappenedtoalexa.org

It Happened to Alexa Foundation is dedicated to supporting rape survivors by assisting the survivor’s family with travel expenses during the trial.

Male Survivor

www.malesurvivor.org

Male Survivor is an organization that works with adult male survivors of childhood and adulthood sexual abuse, assault, and rape. The website contains a resource directory.

Mujeres Latinas en Accion

www.mujereslatinasenaccion.org/Home/programs/sexual-assault-program/

The sexual assault program at Mujeres Latinas en Accion provides help for adult survivors of sexual assault and their family members. They are partnered with Mercy, St. Anthony, and Norwegian American Hospitals to provide care and counsel for victims immediately following the assault.

Pandora’s Project

www.pandys.org

Pandora’s Project is an online community of survivors dedicated to helping one another overcome trauma. PP provides an extensive library of articles & essays for information.

RAINN (Local)

www.rainn.org

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. An affiliate in Chicago is the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.

RVA

www.rapevictimadvocates.org

RVA is an Illinois not-for-profit organization made up of many individuals with two primary goals: to assure that survivors of sexual assault are treated with dignity and compassion; and to affect changes in the way the legal system, medical institutions and society as a whole respond to survivors.

STOP-IT

www.sa-stopit.org

STOP-IT is funded to work with any and all victims/survivors of human trafficking. They identify and assist victims of human trafficking and exploitation, help current and past victims, provide training, and raise awareness around Chicago.

YWCA’s Sexual Violence and Support Services (Local)

www.ywcachicago.org

YWCA’s Sexual Violence and Support Services provide medical and legal advocacy for survivors, hotlines for short-term support, and free counseling and support groups for long-term support.

Substance Abuse and Addiction
The Addiction Project

www.hbo.com/addiction

The Addiction Project (produced by HBO) brings together many of America’s top addiction experts to demystify this much misunderstood disease.

Alcoholics Anonymous

www.aa.org

Alcoholics Anonymous’ web site includes information to locate AA groups in your area.

Al-Anon

www.al-anon.alateen.org

For over 50 years, Al-Anon (which includes Alateen for younger members) has been offering hope and help to families and friends of alcoholics.

Dual Recovery Anonymous

www.draonline.org

Dual Recovery Anonymous is a support group for people living with both a psychiatric diagnosis and a substance abuse diagnoses.

Narcotics Anonymous

www.na.org

Narcotics Anonymous website includes information on narcotics based support groups.

National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA)

www.nacoa.net

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA) is the national nonprofit membership and affiliate organization working on behalf of children of alcohol and drug dependent parents.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

www.niaaa.nih.gov

Provides access to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

National Institute on Drug Abuse

www.drugabuse.gov

The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s site includes a vast array of educational materials about specific drugs as well as the consequences, prevention and treatment of drug abuse. The site includes resources for young people, parents, teachers, researchers, physicians and other health professionals.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

www.samhsa.gov

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration works to improve the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, alcohol and drug addiction treatment, and mental health services.

Suicide
Alliance of Hope

www.allianceofhope.org/alliance-of-hope-for-suic

Alliance of Hope is an online organization containing a community forum, a blog, and counseling services directed toward those who have lost a loved one to suicide, including military suicide.

American Association of Suicidology

www.suicidology.org/resources/mutlimedia-resources/suicide-warning-signs

American Association of Suicidology has a cheat sheet for: how to recognize the suicide warning signs in yourself and loved ones. The website also contains a directory for suicide survivor support groups.

American Federation for Suicide Prevention

www.afsp.org

American Federation for Suicide Prevention is a resource for those struggling with suicide and those grieving because of it. Their Illinois chapter is located in Chicago.

Live Through This

www.livethroughthis.org

Live Through This is a story collection organization – similar to Erasing the Distance – dedicated to telling the stories of suicide survivors. Trigger warning for suicide.

Teen Resources
Adolescent Mental Health Initiative

www.copecaredeal.org

A mental health site for teens developed by the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative. Dedicated to helping teens learn how to cope with stress, take care of themselves, and understand the facts about mental health issues.

Break the Cycle

www.breakthecycle.org

Founded in 1996, Break the Cycle is still the only agency to provide comprehensive dating abuse prevention programs exclusively to young people. Break the Cycle inspires and supports young people to build healthy relationships and create a culture without abuse.

The Covenant House NINELINE

www.nineline.org

The Covenant House NINELINE makes it possible for young people throughout the United States and its territories to gain immediate access to Covenant House crisis and counseling services 24/7. In addition to providing critical help to young people in need, the Covenant House NINELINE also is a resource for parents seeking guidance about difficult family situations or for those looking for a runaway child. 1-800-999-9999.

Focus Adolescent Services

www.focusas.com

Focus Adolescent Services is the largest and most comprehensive Internet site of information and resources on teen and family issues to help and support families with troubled and at-risk teens.

The Jason Foundation

www.jasonfoundation.com

In 1997, The Jason Foundation was founded in response to the loss of Jason Flatt – age 16 – to the tragedy of youth suicide. JFI’s mission is to provide information, tools and resources to confront the “silent epidemic” and prevent the tragedy of youth suicide.

TeensHealth

www.kidshealth.org/teen

TeensHealth was created for teens looking for honest, accurate information and advice about health, relationships, and growing up. We offer a safe, private place that’s accessible 24 hours a day to get the doctor-approved info you need to understand the changes that you (or your friends) may be going through – and to make educated decisions about your life.

Teen Living

www.teenliving.org

Teen Living is a resource for the homeless who are simultaneously dealing with the tumult of adolescence. They partner with youth to build a foundation of skills for independent living. The teens learn how to care for themselves and their homes, foster healthy relationships, find and keep employment, advance their education, and create positive lives.

College Resources
Active Minds

www.activeminds.org

Active Minds is the only organization working to utilize the student voice to change the conversation about mental health on college campuses, by developing and supporting chapters of a student-run mental health awareness, education, and advocacy groups on campuses nationwide.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness – Greater Chicago (Local)

www.namigc.org

The National Alliance on Mental Illness – Greater Chicago’s website for college students raising awareness of the mental health resources, services, and support to be found specifically on Chicago’s campuses.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center

http://www.nsvrc.org/saam/campus-resource-list

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center serves as a gateway to educative resources specific to sexual assault on campus, including information on prevention, policy, statistics, and alcohol use.

The Jed Foundation

www.jedfoundation.org

The Jed Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the young adult suicide rate and improving the mental health safety net provided to college and university students nationwide. The Satow family established The Jed Foundation after the loss of their son and brother, Jed, a sophomore in college.

ULifeline

www.ulifeline.org

ULifeline is your online resource for college mental health.

Yellowbrick

www.yellowbrickprogram.com

Yellowbrick is a private, physician-owned and operated psychiatric health-care organization whose mission is to provide a full-spectrum, specialized approach to the emotional, psychological and developmental challenges of emerging adults.

Veterans
PTSD website

www.ptsd.va.gov

A general PTSD website containing veteran-specific information, including educative resources and a directory for clinical care.

The Real Warriors Campaign

www.realwarriors.net

The Real Warriors Campaign is an initiative launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury to promote the processes of building resilience, facilitating recovery and supporting reintegration of returning service members, veterans and their families.

A Safe Haven

www.asafehaven.org/veterans

A Safe Haven offers homelessness resources and housing specific to veteran status.

Safe Helpline

www.safehelpline.org

Safe Helpline is a national organization, affiliated with RAINN, that is dedicated to providing sexual assault support for the DoD community. Consists of a 24-7 helpline and a chatroom.

Youth and their Parents
The Balanced Mind

www.thebalancedmind.org

The Balanced Mind is a comprehensive resource for families of youth with mood disorders.

Child Mind Institute

www.childmind.org

Child Mind Institute is an organization dedicated to assisting children and adolescents who struggle with psychiatric and learning disorders through providing clinical care, resources to empower and educate parents, and research.

Kids Mental Health

www.kidsmentalhealth.org

Kids Mental Health is a comprehensive, easily navigable informational portal pertaining to all facets of your child’s mental health, including diagnosis and treatment options.

notMYkid

www.notmykid.org

notMYkid provides information and program details to parents of children struggling with substance abuse, eating disorders, and other mental health issues.

Sesame Workshop

www.sesameworkshop.org

The sister organization of the television show Sesame Street, Sesame Workshop is dedicated to the development of young children’s minds, including in the face of trauma and death.

Frequently Asked Questions
General Mental Health
How many people are affected?

1 in 4 people will live with a mental disorder this year.

Is mental illness my fault? Can I just push through it?

Mental illnesses are biologically based brain disorders. They cannot be overcome through “will power” and are not related to a person’s “character” or intelligence.

Do mental health issues affect one group more than another? I have heard they are more prevalent among white people.

Mental health issues do not discriminate. People of all ages, races, cultures, genders, faith groups, and classes can and do experience such things as depression, anxiety, and addiction.

When is the typical onset of mental illness?

50% of people with mental illness experience their first episode by the age of 14; 75% do by the age of 24.

I feel like I have had depression for most of my life. Why am I only getting help now?

Despite effective treatments, there are long delays-sometimes decades-between first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment. Stigma, lack of information and education about mental illness, thinking we can handle it on our own, and fear of being judged can all stand in the way of getting help. Know that you are not alone!

What’s the best course of treatment for mental illness?

The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports.

Is it only mental illness if my case is severe?

Mental illness exists on a spectrum. Some people live with severe and chronic illnesses which require treatment with such things as medication, intensive therapy, case management, and hospitalization. Others may be living with mental illness but still function at a high level. Each person is different and requires a uniquely tailored approach to recovery.

When does something I am experiencing "qualify" as a mental illness?

That is a difficult question to answer. However, one industry standard is to assess if the intensity, duration, and quality of your “symptoms” disrupt your ability to function. This can include your ability to work, go to school, establish and maintain healthy relationships, and take care of your own physical and emotional well-being.

Homelessness
What does it actually mean to be homeless?

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), there are four categories of homelessness:

Literally Homeless -An individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence

Imminent Risk of Homelessness – An individual or family who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence

Homeless under other Federal statutes – Unaccompanied youth under 25 years of age, or families with children and youth, who do not otherwise qualify as homeless and  have experienced persistent instability as measured by two moves or more during the preceding 60 days and can be expected to continue in such status for an extended period of time due to special needs or barriers

Fleeing/Attempting to Flee Domestic Violence

Why are people homeless?

Any individual or family who lacks the resource or support networks to obtain other permanent housing can be considered homeless.  A lack of resources may result from the loss of a job, moving to a new area, language/political barriers, domestic violence or the loss of a family member previously financially contributing to the household among various other circumstances.

What are the barriers to eradicating homelessness?

Barriers include poverty, including a shortage of affordable housing, incomes that do not pay for basic needs, and a lack of appropriate services for those that need them. Addressing all of these issues community by community is a necessary step to ending homelessness and poverty.

How do I get help finding affordable housing?

Heartland Alliance
Heartlandalliance.org
312-660-1500

 City of Chicago Emergency Housing -  Dial 311 to contact the City of Chicago, and ask for “shelter or services”. 311 will connect you to the social services team at the Department of Family & Support Services. 

City of Chicago Homeless Assistance – Dial 311 to contact the City of Chicago, and ask for “Short Term Help”. 311 will connect you to the Homelessness Prevention Call Center, which will assess your options for financial assistance for rent, mortgage, utility and other needs.

Chicago Housing Options.org -http://www.chicagohousingoptions.org is a tool for individuals and families to identify what resources are available today. Complete the survey tool for a listing of opportunities for those who are homeless and at-risk of homelessness.

Community Service Centershttp://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/fss/supp_info/community_servicecenterlocations.html
Chicago Department of Family & Support Services is a key player in Chicago’s effort to end homelessness. DFSS services include prevention, outreach, shelter and housing programs and supportive services.

Direct2Housing.org  will assist you to find contact information, application process and eligibility criteria for Supportive Housing options in Metropolitan Chicago.

Is it your fault if you are homeless?

Absolutely not.  The causes of homelessness are complex and often multifaceted. Relationship breakdowns, abuse, low education levels, poor social skills and multiple physical health problems can all act as contributing factors. But above all, it is mental health that takes precedence as being both a cause and consequence for far too many.

What mental illnesses and health problems coincide with homelessness?

Poor health can contribute to being homeless, and being homeless can lead to poor health. Limited access to health care can make it worse. That’s why the health of homeless people in the United States is worse than that of the general population. Common health problems include:

  • Mental health problems
  • Substance abuse problems
  • Bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Problems caused by being outdoors
  • Wound and skin infections

Mental health problems can be broad – including, anxiety and depression, complex trauma and undiagnosed forms of personality disorders.

What can I do, as someone who lives in a safe home, to combat homelessness?

Volunteer or Donate to a program addressing the social, economic, emotional or political needs associated with homelessness.

Why are youth homeless?

This group faces complex and coexisting barriers including substance abuse, mental illness and childhood trauma.

I am a teenager who has run away from home. Is there anyone who will help me?

National Runaway Safeline
1-800-786-2929

Safe Place – nationalsafeplace.org – Safe Place creates a network of Safe Place locations — schools, fire stations, libraries, grocery and convenience stores, public transit, YMCAs and other appropriate public buildings – that display the yellow and black diamond-shaped Safe Place sign. These locations extend the doors of the youth service agency or emergency shelter throughout the community. Youth under age 18 can easily access immediate help wherever they are.

Who is at particular risk for homelessness? What can I do to protect myself?

While homelessness is the result of complex and multifaceted circumstances, poor health can contribute to being homeless. Taking care of your mental health and physical health can minimize this risk factor.

What’s all this about homeless veterans?

In support of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Five Year Plan to End Homelessness among Veterans, the Commission is helping to develop Veterans Treatment Courts to address drug and mental health issues affecting former service members. The Commission is providing technical assistance to judges and lawyers across the country on the unique issues facing veterans, including child support arrears and other barriers to housing and employment. In addition, the Commission helps in the support and development of pro bono programs to aid veterans.


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