Keep the conversation about mental health going

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

We’ve certainly made progress as a society when it comes to awareness of mental health and our willingness to discuss the topic.

Hinsdale Central is doing its part to promote the conversation by recognizing Mental Health Awareness Week in several fun ways. Students could pick up healthy snacks to help boost their mood; share messages of encouragement, motivation, inspiration and kindness with one another; and visit with Angel the Comfort Dog. The activities remind us all that there are little things we can do to keep our mind in a good place.

Teens can learn more and get additional help on their mental health journey at The Loft at Eight Corners in Brookfield. They can talk one-on-one with a recovery support specialist or take a class on topics such as yoga, self-care or dealing with stress. The new center, which held an open house last night for eighth-graders, is designed to engage teens in their mental health journey and to empower them to advocate for their own services and support. All services are free and available seven days a week, 365 days a year to high school-aged teens and families on a walk-in or scheduled basis. The Loft, located at 9049 Monroe Ave., is a partnership between NAMI Metro Suburban and Pillars Community Health. For more information, visit

The Living Room, the La Grange location that inspired The Loft, is open to anyone 18 or older who is feeling scared, anxious, angry, sad or just needs someone to talk to. People can drop in or make an appointment to talk with a trained peer recovery support specialist free of charge. The Living Room at 4731 Willow Springs Road is open from noon to 8 p.m. seven days a week, 365 days a year. For more information, visit

Parents who are looking for a professional to help their child can consult the Parent List at Housed on Hinsdale Central’s PTO website, the resource list features local mental health, educational and health providers with whom parents in the community have had a positive experience.

Community Memorial Foundation in Hinsdale maintains a mental health guide under the “Resources” tab featuring community and hospital-based mental and behavioral health services on its website at

The Community House in Hinsdale offers counseling for young people on a sliding scale. Visit for more information.

For immediate assistance, people experiencing a mental health crisis can call 988, the mental health version of 911, to talk to a counselor 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

They also can text “now” the free and confidential Crisis Text line at 741741 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Illinois Warm Line at (866) 359-7953 is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday to anyone 12 and older to receive support before a situation becomes crisis. Wellness support specialists are professionals who have experienced recovery in their own lives.

Being able to talk about mental health struggles and knowing where to turn when they arise are two of the most important things we can do — this month or any month.