life buoy help Crisis/Emergency Support Hands Heart

In an Immediate, Life-Threatening situation (to yourself or others),
CALL 9-1-1 (Emergency) and ask for a CIT officer (Crisis Intervention Team)


In a Mental Health Crisis,
CALL 9-8-8 (Suicide and Crisis Phone Line)
Text RENEW to 741441 (Crisis Text Line)

For further information click on the collapsible text bars below


If your family member is in crisis and is immediate danger to themselves or others,

Call 911 & ask for CIT officer* (Crisis intervention Team (CIT))

Hold this list in your hand when you call 911, so you can read from it.

Give the dispatcher the following information:

  • Your name
  • Address to which the police should respond
  • Nature of the crisis (Why you need the police)
  • Prior or current violent behavior 
  • Weapons or access to weapons
  • Name of your family member in crisis
  • Age of family member
  • Height & weight of family member
  • Clothing description of family member
  • CURRENT location of family member
  • Diagnosis (Mental Health and/or Medical)
  • Current medications (on or off?)
  • Drug use (current or past)
  • Triggers (what upsets them?)
  • State what has helped in previous police contacts
  • Identify other persons in the residence or at the location

You are asking a stranger to come into your home to resolve a crisis. They will only have the information that you provide to them. It is a good practice to gather as much of this information as possible before a crisis occurs.


What to expect…

Who will respond to your crisis?

  • The 911 operator will dispatch uniformed patrol officers to your location.
  • Officers will detain your family member, which will include handcuffing and is for the safety of everyone, including your family member.
  • Officers will conduct a preliminary investigation to determine whether a crime occurred.
  • Officers will conduct a preliminary mental health investigation to determine whether your family member is a danger to self, danger to other(s), or gravely disabled due to a mental illness (CA WIC §5150).
  • Your statements and historical information are an important part of the mental health investigation (CA WIC §5150.05). AB1424 gives you the right to provide information to the authorities who make decisions for your family member. To download the AB1424 form.
  • Officers will inquire about any firearms or other deadly weapons, and in most cases will seize them for safekeeping (pursuant to CA WIC §8102).
  • Officers will take your family member to EPS if it is determined that they meet 5150 criteria. 
  • If your family member is an adult, the officers and/or the EPS cannot disclose information about him/her due to medical records-related privacy laws unless he/she gives a verbal or signed authorization to release information. Use AB1424 form to give EPS medical information for your family member’s treatment.

* Adapted from LAPD’s Mental Evaluation Unit’s 911 Checklist

What happens when you call 988?

What you need to know about 988:

  • As of July 2022, 988 is the new three-digit number to call for a mental health emergency or crisis
  • It is the new number for the Crisis and Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and you can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need mental health crisis support
  • People with area codes other than 408, 650, and 669 should dial 800-704-0900 and press 1 for these services).  If you call 988 from a different area code, you will be routed to the crisis center staff associated with that location, who will then have to transfer your call to the Santa Clara County 988 Crisis Center
  • NAMI Santa Clara County recommends you call 988 rather than 911 (unless you or a loved one is experiencing a life threatening emergency which requires 911 emergency services).  With 988, if the situation requires an in-person response, trained mental health workers rather than police officers will usually take the lead in approaching the person in crisis. This is safer for the person needing mental health evaluation and support, as well as for for emergency responders.

988 is a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health related distress – whether it is thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress.  988 is free and available 24/7 for anyone. Trained counselors answer all calls to give needed support. Calls are anonymous and confidential – information will not be shared unless in-person assistance is needed. The line provides interpretation for more than 200 languages and includes services for the hearing- and visually impaired.

How can you prepare before calling 988:

It helps to have a list of current information on the person in crisis when you call 988.  Don’t worry if you don’t have everything listed below, but they can be very helpful to the operator.  

  • Your name and relationship to the person in crisis
  • Nature of the mental health crisis 
  • Name of your family member in crisis
  • Age of family member
  • Diagnosis, if you know of one (mental health and/or medical)
  • Past psychiatric emergencies or hospitalization (brief summary)
  • Current Insurance
  • Current medications (on or off?)
  • Drug use (current or past)
  • Triggers (what upsets them?)
  • State what has helped in previous crisis situations
  • If you are asking for an in person mental health crisis response, be prepared with information on:
    • CURRENT location of family member
    • Other people in the house
    • Prior or current violent or self-harming behavior
    • Weapons or access to weapons
    • Height & weight of family member

988 informational handouts:

Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Crisis Services 1-800-704-0900

  • Choose Option #1 for Urgent Mental Health Services, Mobile Crisis Response Team, or Suicide and Crisis Hotline 

Mental Health Urgent Psychiatric Care (MHUC)  408-885-7855
871 Enborg Court,Unit 100, San Jose, CA 95128
Walk-in crisis clinic, with a psychiatrist on duty, seven days a week for those seeking voluntary services. They are open daily 8 am -10 pm including holidays. For After Hours (10 pm – 8 am), use MHUC entrance to access EPS for psychiatric emergency services.

Valley Medical Center Emergency Psychiatric Services (EPS) 408-885-6100
820 Enborg Court, San Jose, 95128

Pacific Services (aka Uplift) Child/Adolescent Mobile Crisis Program* 408-379-9085 After hours/weekends: 1-877-412-7474

Try to avoid calling 9-1-1 if possible. Please call 9-1-1 if you are worried about anyone’s safety and request for CIT Police Officer. *Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Police Officers are specially trained officers who have received 40-hr training in mental health crisis de-escalation.

Police EMERGENCY: Call 911 and request a CIT* Police Officer to come to the scene/address

Poison Control 800-222-1222

* Indicates 24 hour line

Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services (BHSD) Line 1-800-704-0900

People looking for mental health and substance use treatment services can call this number for:

  • Referrals to mental health or substance use treatment services. (Referrals are offered to individuals of all ages)
  • General information about BHSD services. (Behavioral Health services are offered to Santa Clara County residents who receive Medi-Cal or Medicare benefits, or have no insurance.)
  • To make a grievance or appeal a filing.

The County BHSD line is free and available 24/7 in more than 200 languages. Trained and licensed mental health and substance use treatment professionals answer all calls

Call 1-800-704-0900 and choose

Option #1 for Urgent Mental Health Services, Mobile Crisis Response Team, or Suicide and Crisis Hotline 

Option #2 for Referral to Mental Health/Substance Use Services

Option #3 for Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT)

Option #4 for General Mental Health Information 

Option #5 for Complaint/Grievance/Appeal

Momentum Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU): Ph. 408-838-0560 x1 
101 Jose Figueres Ave, Suite 50, San Jose, CA 95116
This is a voluntary inpatient option for someone experiencing behavioral crisis where they can stay for 24 hours. This facility has a registered nurse, clinicians and peer navigators. They provide services such as screening, assessment, treatment plans, brief therapy, peer support, to people and families, to stabilize a crisis. You can self-refer. Eligible for people on  Medi-Cal or are uninsured. Open 24/7. For the brochure, click HERE 

Blackbird House: Ph. 1-408-292-2777 or email:​
A peer-run respite home for adults. Blackbird Peer Respite is a voluntary, short-term, peer-run service that provides non-clinical crisis support to help people find new understanding and ways to move forward with their recovery. Guests can stay for up to 14 days. For more information, click HERE.

Local Non-Emergency Police: Call your city’s non-emergency police department number and request a CIT* Police Officer to do a “welfare check“.
*Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Police Officers are trained to recognize and understand the seriousness and sensitivity of the mentally ill during a crisis situation.
For San Jose: Call 311 (From Landline)/ 408-277-8900 (From Cell Phone) 

NAMI Santa Clara County Helpline Help Desk 408-453-0400, option 1
(M-F 10:00 am to 6:00 pm) 1150 S. Bascom Ave., Suite 24, San Jose, CA 95128
Peer-based mental health support, education and referrals, for people with mental illness and their loved ones.

Santa Clara County Mental Health Services Call Center 1-800-704-0900 press 2
For assistance in accessing County mental health services (children and adults), and for referrals to community services. Call this number if you or your loved one is in a mental health crisis and to request a mobile crisis response team.

Santa Clara County Child Abuse Hotline(24/7)

San Jose: 408-299-2071
Palo Alto: 650-493-1186
Gilroy/Morgan Hill Area: 408-683-0601

Bill Wilson Center Youth Crisis Line (ages 7-24)* 888-247-7717

Teen Hotline (24/7) 650-579-0353

Trans Lifeline (24/7)  877-565-8860 Crisis hotline by and for the transgender community

The Trevor Project (24/7)  866-488-7386 – Nationwide crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth 

San Mateo County Parent Support Line 888-220-7575 or 650-567-5437

Bill Wilson Center General Family Crisis Line (Depression, Anxiety, Grief, Loneliness, Parental Stress)

Crisis Text Line[text RENEW to 741741] Free 24/7 support from a crisis counselor

Center for Living with Dying-Bill Wilson Center (Grief and Loss Support for children, adolescents, and adults) 408-243-0222
Kara (Grief Support for children, teens, families and adults in Palo Alto) 650-321-5272

Runaway for Support 1-800-621-4000

Rape Crisis Hotline (24/7) 408-287-3000

If your loved one is missing, information and suggestions for finding them can be found on the Locating Missing Persons page.

Community Solutions Hotline (24/7 sexual assault and domestic violence) 408-683-4118

Planned Parenthood (24/7 Birth Control, Pregnancy, Women’s Health) 408-287-7526

Anti-Hate Hotline (Discrimination and Hate Line) 408-279-0111

Victim Witness Assistance* 408-295-2656

If your loved one is arrested and/or held at the Santa Clara County Jail, useful contacts, information and resources are available on our Family Member Arrested page.

* Indicates 24 hour line

Al-Anon/Alateen Family Groups (for families & friends of alcoholics)* 408-379-1051

AA – Alcoholics Anonymous* 408-374-8511

NA – Narcotics Anonymous* 408-998-4200

Santa Clara County GATEWAY Alcohol and Drug Screening, Information and Referral (Medi-Cal or no insurance) 800-488-9919

Santa Clara County Youth (under age 21) Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (Medi-Cal or no insurance) 408-272-6518

* Indicates 24 hour line

National Suicide Prevention Line Lifeline (24/7)* Call 9-8-8

Girls and Boys Town Hotline 800-448-3000

Institute on Aging Friendship Line (for persons over 60, or adults with disabilities) 800-971-0016

Alcohol Hotline 800-331-2900

Al-Anon for Families of Alcoholics 800-821-4357

Alcohol Treatment Referral Hotline 800-252-6465

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Hotline 800-622-2255

National Help Line for Substance Abuse 800-262-2463

National Help Institute on Drug Abuse Hotline 800-662-4257

Cocaine Anonymous 800-347-8998

National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233

National US Child Abuse Hotline 800-422-4453