University of Illinois System

Mental Health and Self Care

Your mental health is a priority. Sometimes caring for our mental health involves basic wellbeing practices including enough sleep, healthy eating, physical activity, and nurturing relationships. But sometimes it’s not so simple. Stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are commonplace and can impact every aspect of our lives.

I’m in crisis or someone I care about is in crisis

  • If you are planning to end your life and don’t think you can stop yourself, call 911. An operator will help you, and can send someone trained in mental health first aid to assist you and help with a plan to keep you alive.
  • You can also go to the nearest hospital emergency department. Healthcare professionals will assist you and provide treatment. Most health insurance policies will cover necessary emergency services obtained in most hospital emergency departments.

If you or someone you care about is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Their crisis center provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. See https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ to seek help for yourself or someone else.

I’m having a hard time and need help figuring things out

  • Your campus Employee Assistance Program services is a great place to start for confidential assistance to you and your family members who may be experiencing difficulties. This includes assessments, short-term counseling, crisis services, and referrals to appropriate resources.
  • Your State Employees Group Health Plan provides insurance coverage for mental health services. Call your insurance company or your primary doctor/health care provider for assistance.
  • A State Employee Assistance Program is available through ComPsych to state health plan participants and dependents to provide support and information during difficult times, including counseling resources and referrals.
    • Call 833-955-3400 or 800-697-0353 (TDD/TTY) for 24/7 help, including access to a free confidential program with a Guidance Consultant for problem identification, counseling, and referral services.
    • Register now for ComPsych’s http://guidanceresources.com (Web ID: StateofIllinois), so the online resources are easily accessible when you need them.
  • Your individual university has additional resources available:

I need self-care tools and resources

  • Be Well Illinois website and Be Well Illinois Facebook page provide webinars, articles, and resources to support your physical, mental health, financial wellness, and social wellbeing.
  • Online apps and tools – many have free or low-cost components (discounts subject to change and may be discontinued at any time):
    • Aura – help reduce stress, anxiety, and insomnia with a 3 month free trial available during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Calm – meditation, relation, sleep, and breathing tools with a discount for military, nurses, first responders, teachers, and government employees. State health plan participants can register for the ComPsych EAP, and access a discount via the Working Advantage discount center. Additionally, Health Alliance members can receive a discount.
    • Headspace – meditation and mindfulness offering a 14 day free trial.
    • Search YouTube for free resources that interest you, such as Mental Health, Meditation, or Yoga.
  • State Employee Assistance Program (ComPsych EAP http://guidanceresources.com) - state health plan participants and dependents can register for access to a wide variety of resources covering Wellness, Relationships, Work & Education, Financial Resources, Legal Guidance, Lifestyle, Home & Auto, Working Abroad and more. Self-care tools include:
    • myStrength self-care app offers support for emotional and physical challenges, including reducing stress, improving sleep, managing depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
    • Search providers to find a Counselor, Lawyer, Certified Financial Planner, Child Care or Elder Care provider.
    • Access other discounts, services, articles, on-demand training, and digital toolkits covering Mental Health Awareness, Financial Wellness and Money Matters, Estate Planning, Mindfulness and Relaxation.
    • Call 833-955-3400 or 800-697-0353 (TDD/TTY) for 24/7 help, including access to a free confidential program with a Guidance Consultant for problem identification, counseling, and referral services.
  • State Employees Group Health Plans provide access to self-care tools. See Be Well Illinois or your health plan’s website for full details. Resources include:
    • Aetna participants can take an Anxiety or Depression Self-Check Questionnaire, and have access to Here 4 U mental health program for young adults age 18 – 24.
    • HMO Illinois, BlueAdvantage and BCBS OAP (BCBSIL) participants can access Well onTarget (WoT) for support to make healthy choices and manage stress.
    • HealthLink participants can access Sharecare Healthy Living for lifestyle management, meditations, and relaxing videos to help with stress.
    • Health Alliance participants can access LifeBalance discounts and wellness once logged into their Health Alliance (Hally) account.