How to get help during a crisis
A mental health crisis, as defined by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is when an individual’s behavior puts them at risk of hurting themself or others, and/or makes them unable to care for themself or function effectively in the community. Experiencing a crisis can be scary, but you don’t have to go through it alone. There are multiple ways you can get help during a mental health or behavioral health crisis, including online, over the phone, and in person.
Get Help Online
Visit 988lifeline.org/chat to get online help for a mental health crisis. The online chat feature is a service of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and connects people with crisis counselors for crisis support services, including emotional support. Lifeline Chat is available in the U.S. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and conversations are free and confidential.
When you visit 988lifeline.org/chat, you will be asked to fill out a short survey to let the crisis counselor know more about your current situation. This includes questions about your main concern, if you have thoughts of suicide, and how upset you’re feeling. You will then see a wait-time message while you’re being connected to a crisis counselor. When the counselor answers your chat message, they will listen to what you have to say, work to understand how your problem is affecting you, offer support, and suggest helpful resources.
Get Help Over the Phone
To access crisis support over the phone, call 988. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline offers free and confidential support 24/7. When you call 988, you will be connected to a trained crisis counselor at a local crisis center. The counselor will listen to you, work to understand how you’re feeling and what you’re experiencing, provide support, suggest ways to feel better, and help connect you with helpful resources.
If you prefer texting, you can text the hotline by sending any message to 988. You will receive a short survey to let the counselor know more about what you’re experiencing. You will then be connected to a trained crisis counselor who will work to understand your situation and feelings and offer support and resources. The 988 Text feature is available 24/7.
Every text and chat center in the Lifeline network is accredited by either the International Council for Helplines or the American Association of Suicidology. If you have trouble connecting to the text or chat services, call 988.
Get Help in Person
To receive in-person help during a crisis, visit an urgent care center that offers walk-in psychiatric services or a crisis stabilization unit. If you’re in Arizona, check to see if you’re nearConnections Phoenix or Connections Tucson. These centers offer 24/7 access to compassionate mental health services. A team of behavioral health experts will guide you to the appropriate level of care, provide personalized treatments, and connect you with helpful community resources. If you can’t find a crisis care center near you, dial 988.
Asking for help during a crisis is brave and a helpful step towards feeling better. Whether you prefer online, over-the-phone, or in-person care, be sure to reach out for help when you need it.