You are here

Sinai Health System Offers Free Counseling Services For Government Workers During The Federal Shutdown


Furloughed Federal Employees can Access Stress Counseling; Also Encouraged to Volunteer


January 21, 2019

Sinai Health System is offering free stress/behavioral counseling services to federal government employees affected by the ongoing government shutdown. Sinai is also encouraging federal workers seeking a productive way to fill their time during the shutdown to volunteer at Sinai in a variety of capacities.

“Sinai recognizes that there are many federal employees in the Chicago area who are facing great challenges during the unfortunate ongoing federal shutdown,” said Karen Teitelbaum, President and CEO of Sinai Health System. “Faced with no paycheck and mounting financial and family pressures, many people may not seek out the help they need to cope. We want to provide free and easy access to mental health services at Mount Sinai Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital, to ensure that they can get the care they need to help them get through this difficult situation.”

For government workers seeking help with stress, anxiety or any other behavioral issues, Sinai’s Behavioral Health department is offering extensive hours for walk-in assessments for adult patients at both Mount Sinai Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital. Adult outpatient walk-in hours are Monday through Friday from 9 am to 3 pm at Mount Sinai, 2653 W. Ogden Avenue, Second Floor (phone 773.257.5300), as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to 3 pm at Holy Cross Hospital, 2602 W. Marquette Road (phone 773.565.2550).

To obtain free services, furloughed federal workers simply need to present their government ID at the time of service.

Additionally, those needing other services will be able to access resources via the Sinai Community Institute’s (SCI) Referral Hotline at 773.257.6216. Family Case Management staff and Workforce Development participants will be manning the phones and helping impacted workers connect with resources and services to address daily living needs, including:                                

  • Medical appointments
  • Behavioral health services
  • Local support groups
  • Child care options and providers
  • Bill payment options (such as utilities payments and others)
  • Housing assistance
  • Transportation assistance
  • Local food and clothing pantries

SCI will also offer free meeting spaces for support groups working to provide care and services for furloughed government workers. SCI’s volunteer department is also coordinating a food drive to benefit furloughed workers and families.

Finally, some idled government workers may simply want a productive outlet to spend their time while waiting for the federal government to resume operations. Sinai is encouraging those individuals to consider any number of volunteer opportunities by simply calling the SCI Referral Hotline to learn about opportunities to help.

“The political battle being waged in Washington is having a direct impact on workers far beyond the borders of DC,” said Teitelbaum. “Federal workers and their families across the country are being affected. Sinai has been taking care of Chicago for 100 years. We feel it’s our responsibility and duty to help those in our community who are in need and caught in the middle of this unfortunate and difficult situation.”

About Sinai Health System

Sinai Health System, a Chicago-based private, not-for-profit organization, is comprised of seven member organizations: Mount Sinai Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Sinai Children’s Hospital, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Sinai Medical Group, Sinai Community Institute and Sinai Urban Health Institute. The system has over 800 physicians on its hospital medical staffs, 695 licensed beds, 100,000+ annual emergency department patient visits and eight physician residency training programs. For more information, visit