If you are like us, you are spending much of your time weeding through emails, news, and posts related to this pandemic. We are all trying to adapt to a new way of life (professionally and personally) as our daily routines are disrupted and social outlets are restricted. This time represents an important reminder that mental health and resiliency are critical to our overall health and happiness.
The Kennedy Forum Illinois works day in and day out to eliminate discrimination and promote access to mental health and substance use treatment. In this regard, today is no different from any other day.
As we navigate these uncertain times, we want to share with you some resources to help you get through the next days and weeks:
- The Kennedy Forum Illinois is offering a free 60-minute webinar for businesses and organizations on how to manage stress and reduce isolation. Please complete this form: CLICK HERE.
- Our policy staff have been advocating to ensure implementation and expansion of health insurance reimbursement for telehealth services, from individual to group level services. It is so important that during this time, we keep a strong continuum of mental health care intact. If you want to discuss this in more detail, please feel free to contact David Applegate, Director of State Policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
- In case you missed the email from our founder former Congressman Patrick Kennedy yesterday, we hope you will take a moment to read this op-ed that he wrote with former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher and CEO of American Psychological Association Dr. Arthur Evans. The article outlines the steps our leaders must take to ensure that miscommunication, trauma, and roadblocks to mental health and substance use treatment care do not undermine our nation’s ability to fight and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Instead of recreating the wheel, we have been busy researching mental health resources available on the internet. We have compiled a list of sites that provide factual information and useful strategies. These include:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Coronavirus Disease 2019 Managing Anxiety and Stress
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Tips For Social Distancing, Quarantine, And Isolation During An Infectious Disease Outbreak
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty
- Mental Health America, Mental Health And COVID-19 – Information And Resources
- ‘THE DOC IS IN: ASK DR. ARWADY,’ a new daily live-stream hosted by Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. It will be held daily at 11 a.m. on Twitter and Facebook Live. You can submit your questions for Dr. Arwady from wherever you are by Tweeting with the hashtag #AskDrArwady or by commenting on the livestreams to get answers in real-time. www.facebook.com/ChicagoMayorsOffice & www.twitter.com/chicagosmayor
- If you need one-on-one assistance or are having thoughts of harm to yourself, these resources are always available to you:
- NAMI Chicago helpline: 833-NAMI-CHI
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
We here at The Kennedy Forum Illinois are here for you today and every day to ensure your right to care. If you are receiving this email, it is because you are a part of this special, supportive family of advocates. As we work tirelessly to ensure a strong system of care, you can join us by continuing to advocate for equitable policy or by making a donation to The Kennedy Forum Illinois.
We hope that you find the resources here useful and that you forward them along to those who may be interested.
Together, we will endure this pandemic. Together, we will make Illinois one of the mentally healthiest states in our country.
Cheryl Potts Peter O’Brien
Executive Director Co-Founder and Board Chair
(Illustration by iStock/Getty Images)