Obtaining Mental Health Assistance
The recent tragic events in Connecticut have led to an increased focus on access to mental health services. The Department of Health Care Services joins California’s county mental health directors and the California Mental Health Director’s Association to encourage Californians in need of mental health assistance to get help as early as possible. Mental health is part of everyone’s overall health, and effective treatments and supports can help people recover.
- All county mental health departments have 24/7 hotlines for local residents seeking assistance in a crisis and to access local mental health programs. Any resident can call 24/7, or walk-in to a county mental health office during business hours, and speak with a crisis worker. We encourage family members to call or come in if they are concerned a family member may harm themself or is considering an act of violence – county mental health departments can help them to develop a safety plan. A document developed by the California Mental Health Directors Association entitled, “County Mental Health Crisis Numbers - December 2012”, which lists county mental health access lines is provided below.
- In a crisis, call 9-1-1 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- If it is not an emergency, people should speak with their health care professional, who will determine how best to address their individual issues and provide referrals to mental health specialists, if appropriate. Individuals with health insurance can also call the toll-free mental health services number on the back of their insurance card to learn how to access mental health services through their insurance.
Local County Mental Health 24-Hour Crisis Intervention Numbers