Responding to a Mental Health Emergency

If You Need Immediate Assistance, Call 911 or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 911Call 1-800-273-8255

During or After an Attempt

If a loved one has done something to hurt themselves, or has expressed a desire to hurt themselves, that can be very scary. If you find your loved one unconscious, bleeding or in need of immediate medical attention:

Stay Calm

Try to keep your loved one calm until help arrives.

Call 911

Call 9-1-1 and notify the person answering that you are calling about a mental health emergency. Tell the person who answers that you would like an officer, EMT or paramedic specially trained in emergency mental health to respond to the emergency situation if available. NOTE: It is best not to try to transport an injured person yourself as he or she may try to exit your vehicle while en route to a hospital or emergency medical facility.

Don’t Ask Questions

Do not ask why your loved one has injured himself/herself at this time. You can talk about that later but getting your loved one medical attention is your first priority right now.

If you or someone you know has reached this site while in need of immediate crisis help, we recommend you call 9-1-1 or visit your local emergency room for professional medical and mental health assistance. The 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can also be reached at 1-800-273-8255 or via online chat. This 24/7 line is a referral, and not a service of Focus on the Family.

Need to Talk?

Find a vetted counselor in your area who is part of Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network.

Before an Attempt

If your loved one has notified you that he or she is thinking about hurting himself/herself, call:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with a trained crisis counselor.

Crisis Text Line

Text NAMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive crisis support via text message.

SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline

Call 1-877-SAMHSA (1-877-726-4727)

Get Support

Once you have made arrangements for medical care for your loved one or spoken with a trained mental health provider and developed a plan for assistance, contact trusted friends, family members and/or pastors so you can receive support and encouragement. Don’t try to cope with this alone.