Connecting and Coping While Sheltering in Place

Older adults who live alone or are not receiving visitors while sheltering in place are some of the most vulnerable in our community and in need of connection. Please take a moment to contact family and friends and check in with them on how they are coping. While feeling sad, anxious, overwhelmed or having other symptoms of distress, such as trouble sleeping, are not uncommon during this crisis, we encourage those affected to reach out for support and help. If you'd like to speak to someone and talk about your concerns, there are several options available.

“Warm Lines” – if you are not in crisis:

  • Friendship Line: 1.800.971-0016 (available 24/7)

  • JCFS Warmline: 1.855.275.5237 (Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central time).

  • Illinois Warmline: 1.866.359.7953, then press 2, then 5. (operates Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time).  

If you are in crisis, or feeling overwhelmed:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 800.273.TALK (8255)
    • If you or someone you know is in crisis—whether they are considering suicide or not—please call the toll-free Lifeline at 800.273.TALK (8255) to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7. Your call is confidential and free.

  • NAMI Crisis Text Line – Text NAMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

  • NAMI Chicago Helpline has mental health counselors available at 833.626.4244, operating Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time.

  • Illinois’ new Call4Calm service: residents can text TALK to 552-020 to connect to the state’s confidential, and free service to get connected to mental health services.

  • Bright Star Community Outreach's trauma counseling helpline at 833.TURN.123 – Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Connect to free teletherapy services at Chicago Department of Public Health Mental Health Centers by calling 312.747.1020.

  • For after-hours support, the Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, 24-hours a day. Instructions: Text HELLO to: 741741 to access a trained crisis counselor.

Other Resources for Managing Stress and Anxiety:

CJE SeniorLife’s Counseling team also recommends the following fact sheets and websites on managing stress and anxiety, as well as mental health considerations during this challenging time as published by the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The following offer relaxation and meditation exercises you may find helpful to take a break during the day or to fall asleep at night:

  • Guided Mindfulness Practice—practicing mindfulness can help you remain centered amidst constant change, and it can also help strengthen your resilience in the face of challenges
  • InsightTimer—the largest library of guided meditations on earth.
  • Stop, Breathe & Think—check in with how you’re feeling, and try short activities tuned to your emotions

Promoting Socialization at Home:

In addition to CJE SeniorLife’s Cyber Club, we are managing an ever-growing list of at-home activities to promote socialization, education, culture, entertainment, fitness and wellbeing.

Download our Encyclopedia of Social Activities At Home >>>>

For additional support and information, please contact CJE SeniorLine 773.508.1000.