The Skokie Health and Human Services (HHS) Department is encouraging Skokie residents to celebrate National Public Health Week. During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation's health.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, up from one in ten adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019.
Skokie’s Community Health Improvement Plan includes mental health as a priority with a goal of reducing the stigma of mental illness and substance abuse, and Skokie HHS invites the Skokie community to learn more about mental health through this article and embrace the services available to the community. Individuals are encouraged to treat mental illness like any other health condition by seeking professional help when help is needed. Visiting the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, in Cook County North Suburban at https://namiccns.org/ or 800-950-6264 is a great start for education, support and resources.
If you or someone you know or is in need of a mental health service, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP, contact your employer’s Employee Assistance Program, or Turning Point at 847-933-0051.
Mental health is a critical component of public health. It consists of emotional, psychological and social well-being and is important from childhood through adulthood. But many people live with mental illness – health conditions that change the way we think, feel or behave, which can affect our lives and our work. In the United States, mental illness is one of the most common health conditions. Each year, one in five Americans will experience mental illness.
Advocacy for mental health is crucial, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic Get involved in Project 2025 — an initiative to reduce the annual rate of suicide, or take a Mental Health First Aid course.
The COVID-19 pandemic can affect mental health in many ways, including through loss of a loved one, isolation due to physical distancing mandates, exposure to the virus and loss of income. Strategies like being physically active, getting a full night’s sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, practicing gratitude, participating in activities you enjoy, developing coping skills, meditating and connecting with others can improve mental health.