Mental Health Hotline
A significant portion of Americans live with some form of mental illness. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, almost one-fifth of adults in the country have a mental health disorder. Some people may be unsure of where to turn for help when they are struggling with mental health symptoms, but a mental health hotline can provide a source of support.
Mental Health Hotline Number
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a national mental health hotline at the following number:
This hotline is free to call and is available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. It is free to call the hotline, which is staffed by operators who refer callers to local mental health treatment resources and support groups.
Other national mental health hotline numbers include:
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- National Eating Disorders Association Hotline: 800-931-2237
- National Drug Helpline: 844-289-0879
When You Should Call
If your mental health is beginning to interfere with daily life but you don’t know where to turn for help, you can find assistance by contacting a mental health hotline. You can also reach out to a mental health hotline if you are concerned about a family member who may need treatment.
Some reasons to call a hotline include:
- Locating treatment providers or resources in your area
- Receiving information about how to help a family member who needs treatment
- Determining which local mental health providers are suitable for your financial situation
- Learning about mental health treatment
You may be able to call a hotline when experiencing a mental health crisis, such as suicidal thoughts, as some hotlines specialize in crisis management.
What Happens When You Call?
When you call a mental health hotline, you will be connected to a trained specialist who can answer your questions and refer you to nearby resources. In some cases, the staff member taking your call may be trained in a specific area, such as suicide assessment and response.
Hotline calls are typically confidential. Some hotlines, such as the SAMHSA national mental health hotline, guarantee confidentiality. The staff member taking your call will not gather any personal information or ask for your name, but they may request your zip code so they can refer you to services in your area.
Calls made to the national suicide hotline Lifeline are confidential, but a staff member will gather information to ensure your safety. If you are in a crisis situation and at risk of danger, the operator may ask for some contact information to connect you to local emergency services. Each hotline differs a little, so it can be helpful to ask whether your call will be confidential.
In general, when you make a call to a mental health hotline, you can expect the operator to keep your phone call confidential and gather information about your safety and needs. They may refer you to local resources or help you make decisions regarding your mental health. Crisis hotlines can also provide emotional support and help you process your feelings during a crisis, allowing you to make smart decisions and stay safe.
Mental health hotline calls are free of charge. However, it is important to check with your phone provider to see if text messaging or data charges may apply.
Teen Mental Health Hotline
For teenagers looking for assistance with mental health symptoms, The Youth Alliance provides a website with links to multiple hotlines. Some mental health hotlines for adults, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, are also prepared to meet the needs of adolescents.
One particularly useful teen mental health hotline is I’m Alive, which allows teens in crisis to chat with trained volunteers. Chat sessions are secure and confidential.
Mental Health Hotlines by State
While calling a national mental health hotline can be helpful, you may prefer to contact a hotline that serves your state. State hotlines can provide coverage to smaller areas and reduce some of the call volume received by large national hotlines.
Consult the list below for mental health and crisis hotlines in your state:
Alabama Department of Public Health
North Star Behavioral Health System
Mercy Care Crisis Services
Arkansas Crisis Center
Los Angeles County Suicide Prevention Center
Colorado Crisis Services
United Way of Connecticut
United Way of Florida
211 in multiple counties
Fulton Emergency Mental Health
AMHD Crisis Line
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
United Way of Indiana
Great Rivers 211
Crosswinds Counseling and Wellness
Louisiana Association of United Ways
Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Mental Health Association Call Center
University of Michigan Health System
Minneapolis Hennepin County Medical Center
Mississippi Contact Helpline
Missouri Department of Mental Health
Suicide Prevention Hotline
Center Point Helpline
Nevada Crisis Call Center
New Hampshire HelpLine
Ocean Mental Health Services
NM Suicide Prevention Hotline
Capital District Psychiatric Center Crisis Unit
Mecklenburg County Crisis
FirstLink Crisis Services
Dayton Suicide Prevention Center
Heart Line / Care Line
National Suicide Prevention Line
Resolve Crisis Services
The Samaritans of Rhode Island
United Way Association of South Carolina
Northeastern Mental Health Center
Tennessee Statewide Crisis Line
Weber Human Services
Clara Martin Center
Wahkiakum County Health and Human
The Crisis Center of Family Services
Wyoming Behavioral Institute
Finding Supplementary Support
While mental health hotlines can provide helpful information and link you to mental health services in your area, some people may prefer a different approach. For example, it is becoming more common for people to use mental health apps to access mental health resources from home. If you want to take advantage of on-the-go mental health resources via your smartphone or tablet, Nobu may be the perfect option for you.
The Nobu app is free to download and offers a range of free features, including:
- A journaling service
- Mood tracker
- Lessons on mental health topics
- Training in mindfulness techniques like yoga and meditation
- Mental health assessments for a variety of conditions
Medically Reviewed by – Dr. Angela Phillips
Angela is a licensed therapist and clinical researcher, and has worked in public, private, government, and not-for-profit organizations, across clinical and research-oriented roles. Angela’s clinical and research experience has included suicide prevention, cognitive behavioral… Read more.
- National Institute of Mental Health. “Mental Illness.” Accessed November 13, 2021.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. “FAQ.” Accessed November 14, 2021.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “National Helpline.” November 8, 2021. Accessed November 14, 2021.
- The Youth Alliance. “Help Hotlines.” Accessed November 14, 2021.