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General Resources

Many people who face hard situations or times can use their coping skills to “bounce back” and adjust to the “new normal.” We believe that anyone could benefit form additional resources during these special times:

If you are looking for specific resources to support you during this time, use the Chicago Health Atlas to identify helpful services near you.

Additional Resources

In this next section, you’ll find additional support that you might find helpful.

Please note that these resources may be specific to certain Chicagoland areas and/or certain qualifications may apply. We do our best to keep these resources up to date, but they may change or be discontinued before we have a chance to update them. 

Housing

  • Learn more about and apply for Emergency Assistance Housing Grants.
  • If you live in Chicagoland, Northern Illinois, or Northwest Indiana, use the Salvation Army Online Referral Desk Form for assistance with rent/mortgage, utilities, medicine, food, clothing, or transportation. 
  • If you are in-between housing at the moment, you can find a shelter near you here.
  • If you are a young person thinking of running from home, if you have a friend who has run away, or if you are a runaway ready to go home, here is the the National Runaway Safeline for support. 1-800-RUNAWAY or 1-800-786-2929.

Parenting 

  • Building Early Connections (must be a Rush patient)
    If you are a parent of a child from infancy to 8 years of age and are seeking support in managing your child’s challenging behavior or have concerns about your child’s development or social-emotional health, Rush’s Building Early Connections (BEC) team is here to help. They offer brief behavioral health intervention, group-based parent management training, and case management/referrals.
  • Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers is a free, online resource developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Designed for parents of 2 to 4 year olds, Essentials for Parenting addresses common parenting challenges, like tantrums and whining.
  • Parenting resources from ZERO TO THREE, whose mission is to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life.
  • The Crisis and Referral Entry Services (CARES) line (SASS) is a hotline for parents of children and adolescents experiencing a mental health emergency. 
    Call 1-800-345-9049   TTY: 1-773-523-4504

Childcare

Financial 

Food

Transportation

Medical

Pet Care

Other

Wellness Resources

Relaxation

Learning some new skills might help you to feel more relaxed. Stress and anxiety can affect your body, feelings, and brain. Happily, there are simple relaxation exercises that do not take long to do, but can help you to lower your stress level. The more you practice, the faster these exercises can help you to feel more relaxed!

One strategy to try is Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). PMR takes just a few minutes and helps you by having you tense and then relax different parts of your body. Research has shown that doing PMR helps people to relax, feel less anxious, and sleep better (in fact, you might try this one in bed at night!).

  • This 6-mintue video walks you through a PMR exercise (but there are many kinds available for free on YouTube-try a few out to find your favorite!)
  • To learn more about PMR, click here: PMR for Stress and Insomnia

Sometimes anxious feelings are really strong and can be hard to shake off. Another tool to reduce strong feelings in the moment is to self-soothe. Self-soothing helps you to relax by using each of your body’s senses to pay attention to the present and focus on things you enjoy.

When stressed, it is also really hard to stay in the moment. To bring yourself back to the present and lower how overwhelmed you might feel about the future, meditation can be helpful.

More relaxation skills and strategies are also available for free on the COVID Coach App (Apple and Android)

Sadness

We think that learning some new skills might help you to feel less down. If you’re feeling down or having difficult or negative thoughts, the following simple tools may help:

One way to improve your mood is by making small shifts in your behavior to try and do things you might enjoy (or used to enjoy doing)- this technique is called “behavioral activation.”

Sadness or feeling down often comes with negative thoughts, which tend to make a bad mood worse. So, another tool to improve feeling down is to take a look at some of your thoughts and see if there are some ways to think a little differently.

To practice these and other strategies, you may also try the COVID Coach App (Apple Download, Android Download).

Lastly, if you or someone close to you is in need of any emotional support related to COVID stress, mental health, or substance use challenges, you could try the Illinois Call4Calm Line or The Illinois Warm Line.

  • Call4Calm Line: Text TALK to 552020 for English or HABLAR for Spanish
  • Illinois Warm Line: 866-359-7953

Activity

Getting active might help to improve how you’ve been feeling. Research has shown that getting active- whether by doing small tings that move your day forward or by exercising- can boost your mood and lower stress.

One way to improve you mood is by making small shifts in your behavior to try and do things you might enjoy - this technique is called “behavioral activation.”

To try it out, you can watch the below video, or start tracking you activities (and get some tips and cheerleading!) from the apps below:

We all know exercise is “good” for us, but did you know that even little bits of exercise can boost our mood and make us feel less stressed? Many options are available to get in some exercise- even if gyms and parks are closed.

Alcohol

Getting some support around alcohol might be helpful for our mood. Sometimes people drink more when trying to sleep or feel numb towards growing stress. Long-term, though, extra drinking can impact our mood, sleep quality, health, and relationships.

To learn more about alcohol use and recommendations during COVID, click here: Alcohol and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

If you notice that urges to drink happen when you are feeling overwhelmed, some new “crisis survival skills” can be helpful to get you through these moments. These skills are fast-acting and can help to bring down big feelings to give you time to think before making potentially risky decisions.

Sometimes drinking is a way to deal with a worry, bad mood, or thoughts about the past or future. Some people think that the only way to feel better is to drink. But, there are some other tools that people have told us are helpful. One is to take a look at the thoughts that are bothering you.

Managing drinking often requires getting support from others. Here is a list of support resources you can get from home: Virtual Recovery Resources

Substance Use

Based on your answers to the survey, we think that getting some support around substance use might be helpful for your mood. Sometimes people use substances when trying to sleep (or stay awake), feel some positive emotions, or feel numb towards growing stress. Long-term. though, extra drinking can impact our mood, sleep quality, health, and relationships.

Here are some resources to help support how your feeling:
If you notice that urges to use a substance happen when you are overwhelmed, some now “crisis survival skills” can be helpful to get you through these moments. These skills are fast-acting and can help to bring down big feelings to give you time to think before making potentially risky decisions. 

Sometimes using a substance seems like a way to deal with worry, bad mood, or thoughts about the past or future. Some people think that the only way to feel better is to use a substance. But, there are some other tools that people have told us are helpful. One is to take a look at the thoughts that are bothering you.

Managing substance use often requires getting support from others. Here is a list of support resources you can get from home:

Finally, if you are using substances that impact how well your lungs are working, require certain supplies to use, or you’re worried about withdrawal effects if you stop, here are some tips to help you stay as safe as possible: Harm Reduction Guide for People Who Use Substances on COVID

Thinking Differently 

Based on your answers to the survey, we think that getting some support around your outlook on things might be helpful. During really stressful times, people often feel stuck— with negative thoughts or fears that the worst will happen. Some tools can be helpful to help our thinking to feel “unstuck.”

One tool challenges us to focus on what we are able to control and to connect with how we are in this very moment. If then gives us steps toward things we can do to feel better and stay safer.

Another tool is looking at your thoughts. Look at what your thoughts are really saying and mean to you can sometimes help you to understand why you’re feeling or acting in a certain way. If you’re not happy with these thoughts (or what comes after them), you can come up with some ways to test or challenge those thoughts. 

Problem Solving

Based on your answers to the survey, we think that problem solving might be helpful right now. When problems feel really big, things get overwhelming fast. It is hard to know what steps to take or if anything can be fixed at all.

One tool that can help solve a problem is to turn it into a SMART goal. SMART goals make problems addressable and less overwhelming.