If you or a loved one is in immediate danger, calling 911 and talking with police may be necessary. Tell the operator that it is a psychiatric emergency and ask for an officer trained in crisis intervention or trained to assist people experiencing a psychiatric emergency.
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 mental health crises and their loved ones. This guide outlines what can contribute to a crisis, warning signs that a crisis is emerging, strategies to help de-escalate a crisis, what to do following a crisis, a sample crisis plan, available resources and more.
NAMI’s new mental health crisis infographics are printable resources that are a great way to spread awareness about what to do in a crisis, detailing:
- warning signs
- what to do in a crisis
- preparing for a crisis
- making a crisis plan
- what to do if you suspect someone is thinking about suicide
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
If you or someone you know is in crisis – considering suicide or not – call and talk confidentially with a trained crisis counselor 24/7. You’ll be connected with a local crisis center in the Lifeline network. Counselors listen empathetically and without judgment, work to ensure callers feel safe, help identify options and offer information about local mental health services.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Provides referrals to support groups, mental health professionals, resources on loss and suicide prevention information.
Emergency and Crisis Hotlines
Following are national resources and hotlines that provide support and information. They can answer questions and help in times of need. In general, hotlines are:
- available to call 24/7
- 100% confidential
Poison centers offer expert medical advice and information. Online assistance at www.PoisonHelp.org.
National Hopeline Network
Volunteers trained and certified in crisis intervention.
Crisis Text Line
Connect by texting with a crisis counselor trained in collaborative problem solving.
National Center for Victims of Crime
Local assistance, confidential referrals and resources. Multilingual.
National Child Abuse Hotline
Childhelp helps the victims of child abuse through education treatment and prevention programs.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Trained expert advocates help with crisis intervention, safety planning, resources and information. Multilingual.
National Runaway Safeline
Services for youth and teens who have run away or are thinking of running away. Support and help connecting parents and guardians to resources.
National Sexual Assault Hotline
Connect with a trained staff member from a local service provider that offers access to free services.
Veterans Crisis Line
800-273-8255 Press 1
Connects veterans in crisis, families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders.
Disaster Distress Helpline
Text | TalkWithUs to 66746
Trained crisis counselors help people who are experiencing emotional distress, stress, anxiety and other depression-like symptoms related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Multilingual. Service of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (samhsa.gov).
Girls & Boys Town National Teen Hotline
Crisis hotline that helps parents and youth cope with stress and anxiety. Young people and families can ask questions via phone, text, chat or email. Counseling, crisis and resource referral services specially-trained counselors. Placement and long-term residential care. Multilingual.
Preparing For A Possible Crisis
Prepare for crisis – you can take steps beforehand to help you act quickly and lessen the impact if a crisis does occur.
- Info on mental health crisis services
- Local and national resources
- Create a crisis plan
- Learn more about suicide
- Info on what to do in a crisis
A crisis plan includes:
- phone numbers of mental health professionals, family members and friends
- a list of current prescription medications, doses and diagnosis
- any history of suicide attempts, psychosis or drug use
- triggers and coping mechanisms that have helped in the past
Trained and knowledgeable responders provide information, referrals and support to people living with a mental health condition, family members and caregivers, mental health providers and the public. Many live with a mental health condition or provide care and support to a family member or friend. In the event of a crisis call, they will transfer callers in crisis or who express suicidal ideation to a national crisis line to provide further assistance. They can answer questions about mental health issues including:
- Symptoms of mental health conditions
- Treatment options
- Local support groups and services
- Education programs
- Helping family members get treatment
- Programs to help find jobs
- Connection with local attorneys
- provide counseling or therapy
- provide specific recommendations for things like treatment
- do individual casework, legal representations or other individual advocacy