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Envision Unlimited Joins Movement to Provide Greater Community Mental Health Access

According to Mental Health America, a leading nonprofit dedicated to promoting mental health, Cook County ranked among the top 20 Illinois counties with the highest rates of suicidal thoughts, severe depression, trauma survivors and post-traumatic stress disorder in 2020 and 2021.

When a mental health crisis arises, residents often have few options for managing it. Some choose to handle it themselves while others go to an emergency room. But due to loud noises, crowds and other unsettling stimuli, research has shown that emergency rooms may not be suitable environments for people experiencing mental health crises.

To respond to these concerns, Envision Unlimited has opened a Living Room program in Flossmoor, Illinois as a welcoming alternative to a hospital emergency room.

Set in a living room environment, this new mental health space is a free program that promotes healthy habits for mental wellness and crisis prevention. The Living Room welcomes anyone experiencing panic attacks, severe depressive symptoms, family-related and work-related matters, various types of trauma or other mental health issues.

“The goal of the Envision Unlimited Living Room is to provide a safe, comfortable space where people with mental illness can feel heard and supported in the community, by their own peers who have lived experience in the mental health system,” said executive vice president of mental health and business development Jean Xoubi, LCPC. “We look to de-escalate the crisis, avoid hospitalizations and aid the client in developing crisis plans and accessing natural resources in their own communities.”  

Envision Unlimited has joined a growing local and national movement to provide access to more community mental health spaces for those in need. According to the Illinois Department of Human Services, there are nearly 25 other Living Room programs in Illinois. And cities across the country, such as Portland, OregonLafayette, Indiana and Miami, Florida, have opened programs of their own. 

So far, the results are noteworthy. For five consecutive years, one local Living Room in Skokie, Illinois de-escalated 99% of visitors’ crises, eliminating the need for emergency room visits. 

The key is environment and personnel. People experiencing mental health crises have expressed a need for safe spaces and trusted individuals with whom they can share thoughts. The Envision Unlimited Living Room is staffed with onsite mental health professionals, who are trained in techniques to help program participants de-stress and improve their coping skills. The program also features recovery support specialists – “peer mentors” with lived experience who can provide additional counseling and support to visitors.

The space primarily serves Illinois’ south suburbs, including Flossmoor, Harvey, Markham, Chicago Heights, Dolton, Calumet City and East Hazel Crest. These communities rank among the highest in Cook County on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index, meaning people in these communities are harder hit by negative effects of stress. But we will accept anyone, regardless of location or insurance. Visitors do not need to have a diagnosed mental illness to receive services.

We hope to see other organizations, such as ours, establish more mental health spaces that are accessible to members of the community. Mental health should not be a privilege. It’s a right. 

The Envision Unlimited Living Room is supported by federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated to Cook County Health and was created in partnership with NAMI South Suburbs of Chicago and NAMI Illinois, the local affiliate and statewide organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

The Envision Unlimited Living Room
3325 Vollmer Road
Flossmoor, IL 60422
Hours: 12-8 p.m. Monday-Friday

If you or someone you know would like to discuss a mental health concern, call our Mental Health Services intake coordinator at 773-506-3161.

Click here to find other Living Room programs near you.


Envision Unlimited is a full spectrum of care organization serving people with intellectual, developmental and psychiatric disabilities regardless of age, gender, background, or ability. Since 1948, we have built a legacy of evolving care delivered with empathy, every time and everywhere. Our innovative services are offered across Chicagoland and Central Illinois and include novel day programscommunity living optionsbehavioral health servicesemployment programsrespite for families and foster care for children with disabilities.

Our services are grounded in a spirit of advocacy and empowerment. We believe that all individuals are capable of living successful lives if given the right opportunities. Contact us today to see how we can help you!