In Crisis?

If You Need Immediate Help

Call or text 988

- Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Spanish-speaking callers:  1-888-628-9454

Help is Immediately Available

If you are in crisis, and it’s an emergency in which you or someone you know is suicidal, use the following resources:

Help is Immediately Avalable

If you are in crisis, and it’s an emergency in which you or someone you know is suicidal, you should immediately use these resources below:


If you (or someone you know) are feeling suicidal call the suicide hotline below:

  • Dial 988 (988 Suicide & Crisis Hotline)
  • 1-888-628-9454 (for Spanish-Speaking callers)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline connects you with a crisis center in the Lifeline network closest to your location. Your call will be answered by a trained crisis worker who will listen empathetically and without judgment. The crisis worker will work to ensure that you feel safe and help identify options and information about mental health services in your area. Your call is confidential and free.

What can you do to help prevent suicide

It can be frightening and intimidating when a loved one reveals or shows signs of suicidal thoughts. However, not taking thoughts of suicide seriously can have a devastating outcome. If you think your friend or family member will hurt herself or someone else, call 911 immediately. There are a few ways to approach this situation.

  • Remove means such as guns, knives or stockpiled pills
  • Calmly ask simple and direct questions, such as “Can I help you call your psychiatrist?” rather than, “Would you rather I call your psychiatrist, your therapist or your case manager?”
  • Talk openly and honestly about suicide. Don’t be afraid to ask questions such as “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” or “Do you have a plan for how you would kill yourself?”
  • If there are multiple people, have one person speak at a time
  • Ask what you can do to help
  • Don’t argue, threaten or raise your voice
  • Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong
  • If your loved one asks for something, provide it, as long as the request is safe and reasonable
  • If you are nervous, try not to fidget or pace
  • If your loved one is having hallucinations or delusions, be gentle and sympathetic, but do not get in an argument about whether the delusions or hallucinations are real

Need Help in an Emergency

If you or a loved one is in immediate danger, calling 911 and talking with police may be necessary. It is important to notify the operator that it is a behavioral health emergency and ask for police officers trained in crisis intervention or trained to assist people experiencing a psychiatric emergency.

What can you expect when calling the police?

If a situation escalates into an emergency, you may have to call the police. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to keep the situation as calm as possible.

On The Phone

Share all the information you can with your 911 operator. Tell the dispatcher that your loved one is having a mental health crisis and explain her mental health history and/or diagnosis. If the police who arrive aren't aware that a mental health crisis is occurring, they cannot handle the situation appropriately. Many communities have crisis intervention team (CIT) programs that train police officers to handle and respond safely to psychiatric crisis calls. Not every police officer is trained in a CIT program, but you should ask for a CIT officer if possible.

During the emergency:

Police are trained to maintain control and ensure safety. If you are worried about a police officer overreacting, the best way to ensure a safe outcome is to stay calm. When an officer arrives at your home, say "this is a mental health crisis." Mention you can share any helpful information, then step out of the way. Yelling or getting too close to the officer is likely to make him feel out of control. You want the officer as calm as possible.

Be aware that your loved one may be placed in handcuffs and transported in the back of a police car. This can be extremely upsetting to witness, so be prepared.

What can the police do?

  • Transport a person who wants to go to the hospital. A well-trained CIT officer can often talk to a person who is upset, calm them down and convince them to go to the hospital voluntarily.
  • Take a person to a hospital for an involuntary evaluation. In certain circumstances, police can force a person in crisis to go to the hospital involuntarily for a mental health evaluation. The laws vary from state to state.
  • Check on the welfare of your family member if you are worried about them or can't reach them. Call the non-emergency number for the police department in your community.

Seeking Help by Text

Connect with trained crisis counselors to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Crisis Text Line – Text NAMI to 741-741

988 Suicide & Crisis Hotline – Text 988

Need Help for Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault

Trained expert advocates are available 24/7 to provide confidential support to anyone experiencing domestic violence or seeking resources and information. Help is available in Spanish and other languages.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Call: 800-799-SAFE (7233)

Connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area that offers access to a range of free services. Crisis chat support is available at Online Hotline. Free help, 24/7.

National Sexual Assault Hotline

Call 800-656-HOPE (4673)

Need Help for Children or Teens

Trained expert advocates are available 24/7 to provide confidential support to youth or young adults in behavioral health crisis or seeking resources and information. Help is available in Spanish and other languages.

Teen Crisis Hotline

Call (800) 448 3000

National US Child Abuse Hotline

Call (800) 422-4453

Preparing and Navigating a Mental Health Crisis

Taking steps to prepare for the possibility of a crisis can help you act quickly, ease your mind and lessen the impact if a crisis situation occurs. Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: A NAMI Resource Guide for Those Experiencing a Mental Health Emergency provides important, potentially life-saving information for people experiencing a mental health crisis and their loved ones.

Download the Guide

Creating a Crisis Plan

No one wants to worry about the possibility of a crisis, but they do happen. That doesn't mean you have to feel powerless. Many healthcare providers require patients to create a crisis plan, and may suggest that it be shared with friends and family. Ask your loved one if he has developed a plan.

A Wellness Recovery Action Plan can also be very helpful for your loved one to plan his overall care, and how to avoid a crisis. If he will not work with you on a plan, you can make one on your own. Be sure to include the following information:

  • Phone numbers for your loved one’s therapist, psychiatrist and other healthcare providers
  • Family members and friends who would be helpful, and local crisis line number
  • Phone numbers of family members or friends who would be helpful in a crisis
  • Local crisis line number (you can usually find this by contacting your NAMI Affiliate, or by doing an internet search for “mental health crisis services” and the name of your county)
  • Addresses of walk-in crisis centers or emergency rooms
  • The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial or Text 988
  • Your address and phone number(s)
  • Your loved one’s diagnosis and medications
  • Previous psychosis or suicide attempts
  • History of drug use
  • Triggers
  • Things that have helped in the past
  • Mobile Crisis Unit phone number in the area (if there is one)
  • Determine if police officers in the community have Crisis Intervention Training (CIT)
  • Go over the plan with your loved one, and if he is comfortable doing so,
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