New ‘Living Room’ in Summit hopes to break stigma surrounding mental health care


SUMMIT, Ill. – A new bilingual Living Room opened Thursday in Summit aimed at breaking the stigma around mental health care.

Three years ago, Sean O’Connor walked into another Living Room location in LaGrange. He said the support in a safe, calm and comfortable space is exactly what he received.

“I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety but I didn’t really have a roadmap of what to do to support,” he said.

On Thursday, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Metro Suburban officially cut the ribbon on its third Living Room.

Executive Director Kimberly Knake said they hope to serve 200 people this ysar.

The Summit location is NAMI Metro Suburban’s first Living Room that is fully bilingual with support in English and Spanish.

O’Connor was so grateful for the Living Room, he decided to intern with NAMI and now works as a recovery support specialist.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the organization says services are critical as we come out of the weight of the pandemic.

“I don’t know how anyone with the pandemic doesn’t feel some sort of anxiety stress and the living room is a chance to process that,” O’Connor said.

It is open seven days a week from 1 to 9 p.m.

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