COVID-19 / Coronavirus Resources

Policy Notice

Given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases being experienced throughout our County (and state), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of McHenry County has implemented the following policy guidelines as it relates to our weekly support groups – specifically Connections (Mondays)and Family Support Group (Wednesdays).

“All such support group sessions will be held virtually only through at least October 31, 2021. As that date approaches, we will re-evaluate this policy based on the circumstances surrounding the status of the COVID-19 virus and so advise well in advance what, if any, changes to this policy can be made while still meeting the CDC health guidelines.”

Please note, we certainly appreciate the need by many of our clients for in-person support. As soon as the COVID-19 situations abates enough such that the health of our clients and staff can be assured, we will transition to the in-person approach.

As to one-on-one and Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) services, NAMI will consider in-person services on a case-by-case basis.

As for our educational programs (ie QPR – Suicide Prevention Training, Mental Health First Aid, Peer-to-Peer, Family-to-Family), whether they will be conducted virtually or in-person will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Should any services be in-person, CDC guidelines will be followed.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health related crisis please call the McHenry County Crisis Line at 800-892-8900 or dial 911 and ask for a mental health trained officer.

We are Still Here to Serve You

We wish to emphasize how important your mental health is to us and our desire to make every effort to support you as best we can during these times of uncertainty. Although our offices are closed due to COVID-19/Coronavirus, NAMI will continue to monitor incoming calls remotely and respond to anyone needing assistance. If you would like to request a 1:1 with a Recovery or Family Support Team Member, contact can be made by email to set up that appointment via phone or video chat. Here is the list of who you can contact. We will make sure a Team Member returns your call or you receive an email within 48 hours (Monday-Friday):

Alex Campbell
Executive Director
[email protected]
815.308.0855 Office Main Line
815.861.5077 Remote #

Lachell Jeffries-Hanson
Educational Programs Coordinator
[email protected]
224.512.4250 Remote #

Tina Karaway
Recovery Services Supervisor & Sr. Mental Health Advocate
[email protected]
815.314.4422 Remote #

Andrea Backstrom
Recovery Support
[email protected]
847.379.1235 Remote #

Lorraine Bruning
Family & Recovery Support
[email protected]
779.220.0650 Remote #

Brenda Estrada
Recovery Support
[email protected]
815.261.1996 Remote #


NAMI can help with resources to deal with food insecurity during Covid-19

Food Resource Packet

Due to the COVID-19 situation, many people are experiencing financial distress due to job loss or layoffs. If you answer often true or sometimes true to either of the questions below, please consider utilizing our local food pantries to help you. See the Food Insecurity Resource Packet for further information.

  • Within the past 12 months we worried whether our food would run out before we got money to buy more.
  • Within the past 12 months the food we bought just didn’t last and we didn’t have money to get more.

Debido a la situación de COVID-19, muchas personas están experimentando dificultades financieras debido a la pérdida de empleos o despidos. Si responde a menudo verdadero o, a veces, verdadero a cualquiera de las preguntas a continuación, considere utilizar nuestras despensas de alimentos locales para ayudarlo. Vea el Paquete de Recursos de Inseguridad Alimentaria para mas información.

  • En los últimos 12 meses, nos preocupaba que nuestra comida se agotára antes de comprar más.
  • En los últimos 12 meses, la comida que compramos se nos terminó y no tuvimos dinero para comprar más.

What Our Partner Agencies are Doing

Streamwood Behavioral Healthcare System


Summer IOP

Streamwood Behavioral

Anxiety and behavior problems have increased in children and teens due to worry and fears related to CoVID-19. We can help your child with this! Join our “Developing Tools To Cope” program this summer, for ages 4-17. Share a flyer.

Summer Hours:
June 1st – August 7th
Monday through Friday
AM Session: 9:30 am-12:30 pm
PM Session: 1:00 pm-4:00 pm

Samaritan Counseling Center


Saturday Support Seminars

Samaritan Counseling Center

Our clinicians are available for free, social educational and process-oriented groups through our secure telehealth platform. Groups starting soon. To join, email Dr. Melissa Katz at [email protected]

  • High School Senior Support – This group allows a safe space to discuss loss, grief and other unexpected challenges our High School Seniors are experiencing. We look forward to processing together and offering supports and interventions that allow our seniors to successfully and confidently move forward.
  • Educator Support – We love and admire our teachers ~ now more than ever! This group pairs educational cohorts together as we discuss the struggles and frustrations of remote learning, maintaining relationships with students from a distance, and reflecting upon our own self worth and ability.
  • Boredom Busters – Let’s work together to come up with creative ideas to combat boredom for kids and adolescents. Many of our community members report feeling like they have nothing to do. We can join together to develop and execute ideas to pass the time and strengthen the community!
The Family Institute at Northwestern University


Anxiety and Returning to Work

Family Institute at Northwestern University

How to handle our individual anxieties as many prepare to return to their place of business with Jonathan Sutton, Ph.D. and Velizar Nikiforov, M.A., LCPC. Across the United States, there are varying levels of stay-at-home orders as well as plans in place or already in motion to re-open businesses. According to a recent Gallup poll, seven in ten Americans are hesitant to return to normal activities, while across the world, mental health conditions including acute anxiety and depression are on the rise (according to the World Health Organization). How can we manage our fears and anxiety if we feel that we lack the information to make confident decisions? How do we as individuals weigh the costs and benefits of returning to places of business and resuming some regular activities? How are anxiety and depression manifesting themselves in new ways during the current crisis? Jonathan Sutton, Ph.D., Director of Cognitive Behavioral Therapies Program and Velizar Nikiforov, LCPC, share their perspectives on the internal factors that contribute to anxiety and strategies on how to manage these new or familiar emotions.

NAMI Greater Des Moines


8 Weeks of Inspiration

NAMI Greater Des Moines

“8 Weeks of Inspiration” speaker series recordings now available. The recordings are available at

More Resources

For the most up to date information, please visit the sites linked below:
The Centers for Disease Control
The Illinois Department of Public Health
The McHenry County Health Department
The City of Chicago’s Dedicated Coronavirus Website