April 13, 2020

City of Chicago and Partners Provide Free Resources to Health Care Workers and First Responders amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Microsite launched for assistance in mental health, childcare, housing and transportation

media.coronavirus@cityofchicago.org

CHICAGO – The City of Chicago along with health, hotel and other partners, announced today they have created a microsite to offer a variety of free resources and supports for healthcare workers and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources and supports are offered directly by the City of Chicago, or through partner organizations and agencies, in an effort to assist healthcare workers, first responders, and their families during this crisis.    

“Supporting the wellbeing of our healthcare workers, first responders, and their families throughout the Coronavirus pandemic response is a responsibility that the Chicago Department of Public Health takes very seriously,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health. “I hope that the array of resources we are making available lessens some of the burden and stress that they may be experiencing at this time and conveys our deep gratitude for their service to our city and its residents.” 

The resources and supports offered through the microsite are part of a partnership between the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), Illinois Hospital Association (IHA), Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA), and NAMI-Chicago to provide comprehensive supports and resources to healthcare workers and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We are so thrilled to offer mental health support to our front line heroes,” said Alexa James, LCSW, Executive Director, NAMI-Chicago. “Everyone is deserving of mental health support and a space to process these unsteady times. We are so encouraged that the city is prioritizing services and supports in all capacities for those keeping us safe.” 

Key supports and resources available to healthcare workers and first responders through the microsite include:

  • Free virtual support groups provided by NAMI-Chicago
  • Free individual and group psychotherapy provided by CDPH
  • A mental health resource dashboard featuring free apps, self-assessments, hotline supports, video tutorials, and fact sheets hosted by CDPH
  • Hotel-based housing provided by the City of Chicago for healthcare workers and first responders wishing to temporarily live separately from family due to concerns about exposure to COVID-19
  • Free access to childcare provided through a partnership with Sittercity or provided by Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Child Care Assistance Program 
  • Free and discounted transportation options from PACE, Metra, Divvy, and CTA

“We are grateful that the City of Chicago recognizes the unique role that community health centers and their staffs are playing on the front lines of fighting this pandemic.  The health and wellbeing of our community health center workforce has never been a higher priority and we thank the city for making these free resources accessible to our team members,” said Jordan Powell, President and CEO, Illinois Primary Health Care Association.

These free resources and supports are intended to mitigate the level of stress and anxiety that Chicago health care workers, first responders, and their families may be experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The Illinois Health and Hospital Association is pleased to partner with the city of Chicago to share these new resources with hospital employees who are on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19,” said A.J. Wilhelmi,  President and CEO of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA). “We commend Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health for making available mental health services, childcare, and transportation, at no cost, as well as housing to reduce potential COVID-19 exposure to the family members and loved ones of healthcare workers.”

The site is available at https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/health-care-workers/home.html. For more information and Chicago specific updates on COVID-19, text COVID19 to 78015, email coronavirus@chicago.gov or visit Chicago.gov/coronavirus.

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