WGN-TV

Mental health needs rise as food insecurity concerns grow

CHICAGO – A critical mission is underway in Lakeview to feed those in need, both physically and emotionally.

Since the stay-at-home order began, mental health professionals are among the many working on the front lines, but in a different way, including at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI.

“what we’re seeing are so many people who are in need of food who weren’t in need of food before,” said NAMI Executive Director Alexa Jamess.

For weeks now, 40 staff members at NAMI have made food runs for clients, to those staying at home.

A partnership with Lakeview Pantry has fed the need.

“We’re bringing some food to folks that we are housing in hotels because of our amazing partnership with Lakeview Pantry,” said James. “We’re super grateful it’s been a source of joy in a large space of grief.”

She said calls for help more than doubled. Some are seeking help for the first time due to social isolation.

NAMI called for reinforcements from Doordash. With Project Dash, the food delivery service is getting the food in the right hands.

The NAMI hotline is 833-626-4244.