“When I went to the Living Room, I met with a person who identified with a similar story that I had,” said O’Conner, peer support counselor. Peer support is the concept behind the Living Rooms of National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Summit becomes new location of mental health facility ‘Living Room,’ first bilingual center for growing need in Latinx community “The Living Room is a national model that acts as an alternative to an emergency room for someone that’s feeling an increase in their mental health symptoms,” said Kimberly Knake, executive director at NAMI Metro Suburban.
“I appreciated someone can look you in the eye and say, ‘I’ve been there before. I’ve been in pain. Let me tell you how to get you out of it. I’ll show you the ropes,’” O’Conner said. NAMI Metro Suburban chose its location in Summit to address a growing need in the Latinx community.
Peer counselors and clinicians work on lining up the right therapist and support groups. The unique approach was so successful for O’Conner, he has now become a peer counselor. While there are two other Cook County suburban locations, the first bilingual Living room opened Thursday. At no cost, anyone who needs help can call or walk in. They meet with a peer counselor in a space that is designed to be warm and calm.
“When we are going through these stages, these depressive moments or having anxiety, you know, we’re kind of are told by our family to tough it out,” said Julio Lopez, Living Room clinician. The first Living Room opened in Illinois five years ago. They have become so successful, the State of Illinois is investing in 25 locations throughout the state.
Source abc7chicago.com Lopez hopes Living Rooms can help change the stigma of mental illness in the Latinx community.
Lopez hopes Living Rooms can help change the stigma of mental illness in the Latinx community.
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