988 Public Messaging - Focus Group Announcement

Coming Soon to Illinois - 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Beginning July 16, 2022, across Illinois, we will join in using the 988 dialing code. 988 will be the new three-digit number for calls in multiple languages, connecting people to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. People can use 988 if they are having thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crises, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

Share your thoughts

As 988 launches, it's important to gather information from the communities across our state (i.e., individuals who use or have used mental health crisis services, their families/friends/loved ones, any concerned individuals). The Department of Human Services-Division of Mental Health is recruiting volunteers to join focus groups. These will ask how best to share this important mental health, substance use, and emotional support resource with the public.

Who is eligible? Important Note: How will the information be used? Duration and Dates:
Individuals with lived experience; their family members, friends, and/or loved ones; any concerned individuals who are a part of or identify in at least one of the following: Persons with a Disability(ies); Farmers/Rural Community; BIPOC; Immigrant/Refugee Community; Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deafblind Community; Older Adults; LGBTQIA+. Volunteers are NOT required to have lived experience. Volunteers are NOT required to disclose any lived experience. A volunteer can be in multiple focus groups, if the volunteer identifies as part of more than one of the identities above (e.g. a Latinx 52-year-old man can participate in both the BIPOC and the Older Adults group). We will ask questions about how to best share information about 988 within the diverse communities in our state. Any comments you make will be used to further the planning of the 988 Public Messaging Campaign in Illinois. Focus groups will last about one hour and will be held on the dates listed next to each group.

Focus Group Schedule

July 13, 2022 July 14, 2022 July 15, 2022

Persons with a Disability(ies) (1-2pm CT)

Any disability (physical, mental, cognitive, and more)

Farmers/Rural Community *RESCHEDULED* Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deafblind Community (9:30-11:30am CT)

BIPOC (1-2pm CT)

Black, Indigenous, Person of Color

Older Adults (1-2pm CT)

Ages 50 and better

  Immigrant/Refugee Community *RESCHEDULED*

LGBTQIA+ (2:30-3:30pm CT)

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Plus

July 20, 2022 July 21, 2022 July 22, 2022

Teen (2-3pm CT)

Ages 13-17

Young Adults (3-4pm CT)

Ages 18-25

Spanish-Speaking Community (1-2pm CT)

Youth (3:30-4:30pm CT)

Ages 8-12

July 29, 2022 August 24, 2022
Farmers/Rural Community (12:30-1:30pm CT) Immigrant/Refugee Community (11am-12pm CT)

Interested volunteers, please email Jessena Williams, LCSW or Matthew Wells: Jessena.Williams@illinois.gov / Matthew.Wells@illinois.gov