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Calls To Crisis Hotlines Have Spiked Since Trump's Election: Chicago Health Officials

(CBS) -- Calls to crisis and suicide prevention hotlines in Illinois are up 200 percent since Election Day.

Mental health officials say Donald Trump's victory caused a public health crisis in Illinois.

CBS 2's Dorothy Tucker looks at some of the faces behind the numbers.

"This fear of being deported. I've never felt that before," says Hector Lopez.

He is an undocumented immigrant. Born in Mexico and raised in Chicago, he is now a sophomore majoring in math a IIT.

"This man literally has the power and the people behind him to take away everything that I've worked for," Lopez says.

He is among the millions of immigrants worried about their future under a Trump administration. In a recent "60 Minutes" interview the president-elect provided no clear answers. He indicated criminals within the undocumented population are a top priority.

"This gathering is a public health response to the spike in phone calls to the mental health hotlines since last Tuesday," Patrick Magoon, president of Lurie Children's Hospital, said during a Monday news conference.

There were heartbreaking calls from students like Luis Gomez.

"I've been trying to reconcile the reality and the possibility that my dad will lose his job, that my family will lose their home and that I might lose my friends and family to deportation and suicide," he says.

Gomez and others shared their stories at a news conference where health officials promoted mental health resources.

State officials promised more funding. Mayor Emanuel's message to immigrants: "You are always welcome in this city -- always."

Still, undocumented immigrant Nancy Villa has fears.

"It's hard to say I feel safe because it's just in one place. I wish it was everywhere in the United States."

There are a number of resources available to immigrants and their children. Chicago is a "sanctuary city" for undocumented residents.

The mayor says the city's 3-1-1 hotline is a good place to call.


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