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During these stressful times of the Coronavirus pandemic, and all the life challenges that have come with it, the WCHD (Will County Health Department) Behavioral Health (BH) division is now able to offer residents a chance to have a mental health professional to talk to, free of charge, when things become overwhelming.

This past Saturday, April 11th, Governor Pritzker announced that the CALL4CALM line had been activated by the State of Illinois.  As part of the DMH Program 580 Crisis Staffing Grant initiative, any text or call made to the CALL4CALM number from within Will County will be directed to the WCHD BH division.

Residents simply need to text TALK, or HABLAR if their preferred language is Spanish, to 552020.  Residents will receive a response on their cell phone.  For difficulties such as fear, anger, worry about their families, feeling isolated, or any other stresses related to the pandemic, residents will be asked to enter their preferred first name (what they like to be called) and their zip code.  They will then receive a call from someone within their region within 24 hours.

Residents will be told to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, if they are feeling suicidal.

Response to CALL4CALM has proven to be rather quick.  After the governor’s 2:30 PM announcement on April 11th, a call from Will County had already arrived by 2:46 PM.  By Monday morning the 13th, a full dozen calls had already been received.  By mid-week, 20 calls had been received by WCHD BH participants, with a 100% response rate.

“The CALL4CALM text line developed by the State of Illinois is an important resource for those experiencing distress and other psychological consequences of the COVID 19 Pandemic crisis,” said WCHD Behavioral Health Director Dr. Joseph Troiani.  “It directly links them with available resources within their communities.”

Any resident who does not own a cell phone may use the state’s CALL4CALM land line at 1-217-545-5100.