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updated: 8/14/2014 7:09 PM

Where to go for help: Robin Williams' death inspires calls

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  • Flowers are placed in memory of actor/comedian Robin Williams on his Walk of Fame star in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles on Monday.

      Flowers are placed in memory of actor/comedian Robin Williams on his Walk of Fame star in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles on Monday.
    Associated Press

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When Carol Hartmann heard that actor Robin Williams had taken his own life, she knew the Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital's call center in Hoffman Estates was going to quickly get a lot busier.

"I suspect (it was) because of how beloved he was and how real he was to people," said Hartmann, who is director of business development for Alexian Brothers Health System and oversees the centralized call center.

On Tuesday, the center received 17 percent more calls, compared to Tuesdays during the previous four weeks, she said.

"It was hard for people," Hartmann said.

She said there were no really acute calls from people threatening to commit suicide. The calls were more preventive, from people dealing with depression, anxiety and addictions.

Hartmann said callers' attitudes were, "'I can be like Robin, and maybe I need to get help right now.'"

The calls are answered by trained clinical intake advisers. If someone is at acute risk of harming himself, those advisers call 911. Otherwise, callers are guided to mental-health services Alexian provides.

About 190 to 250 people call each day, she said. Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital is the seventh-largest provider of behavioral health care in the nation, she said.

Along with Alexian, which can be reached at (800) 432-5005, here are some local and national suicide prevention and mental health hotlines:

• Association for Individual Development in Aurora: (630) 966-9393.

• Community Crisis Center in Elgin: (847) 697-2380.

• DuPage County Health Department: (630) 627-1700.

• Illinois Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Evanston: (312) 890-2377.

• McHenry County Crisis Program: (800) 892-8900.

• Mental Health America of Illinois: (312) 368-9070.

• National Alliance on Mental Illness Barrington Area: Check namibarringtonarea.org or call (847) 496-1415.

• National Suicide Hotlines USA: (800) 784-2433, (800) 273-8255.

• Suicide Prevention Services: (630) 482-9696.

• The Lake County coroner's office provides suicide prevention resources to those in need: (847) 377-2200.

• The Lake County Suicide Prevention Task Force. For information on the task force: (847) 377-8244. For 24-hour crisis assistance: (847) 377-8088.

• The Trevor Project hotline for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teens and young adults: (866) 488-7386.

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