call4calm 080221SPRINGFIELD – The state’s Call4Calm text line to support Illinois residents' mental health needs is now permanent thanks to an initiative led by State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago).

“Due to the pandemic, mental health outcomes are more concerning than ever, and this text line is an essential outlet,” Van Pelt said. “Call4Calm can still benefit those who struggle with their mental health even after this pandemic is over, and must remain a mental health resource.”

Initially, Call4Calm was launched as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, serving as a remote patient monitoring program and support line available to anyone in the state.

This measure permanently establishes the Call4Calm text line, which would be free of charge and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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

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.

“There is no shame in asking for help,” Van Pelt said. “Emotional support is just one text away for anyone who has been struggling during the pandemic.”

House Bill 1805 was signed into law by Governor Pritzker Friday and is effective immediately.