Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 9/10/2021
Mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and others are very common.
In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five American adults live with some form of mental illness.
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of a mental health disorder and want to seek treatment, or if you’re going through a mental health crisis, it’s important to reach out for help.
Mental health hotlines offer immediate access to crisis workers and other people who can help you to seek treatment and improve your mental health.
Unfortunately, many mental health hotlines and other resources are underused, largely because the people that need them most often aren’t aware that they’re available.
Below, we’ve shared crisis hotlines and other mental health resources that you can use to seek help, whether you’re in an emergency or simply need assistance taking action.
For each resource, we’ve explained how it works, the type of help that’s available and how you can use it to seek mental health assistance.
If you’re going through a mental health emergency, or if you feel suicidal, it’s important to seek expert help right away.
Suicide and mental health crisis hotlines provide immediate assistance for people experiencing suicidal thoughts or urgent mental health issues.
You can call a suicide or crisis hotline if you’re thinking about suicide, or if you feel concerned about a friend or loved one.
The person that answers your call will listen to you, provide support and help you or the person you’re concerned about to access appropriate care and medical attention.
Some hotlines offer specialized advice and assistance for at-risk groups, such as young people, veterans, victims of domestic violence or LGBTQ individuals.
By contacting a hotline, you’re free to discuss your problems in a private, confidential and supportive environment.
The following hotlines provide urgent support and assistance for people in mental health crisis or emotional distress:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). Available 24/7, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free, confidential support for any people at risk of suicide or concerned about the safety of a friend, family member or another individual. Services are available in English, in Spanish (1-888-628-9454) and for people who are deaf and hard of hearing (1-800-799-4889).
Emergency Medical Services (911). If you or a friend, family member or other person has urgent mental health or is in a life-threatening situation, you can receive immediate assistance by calling 911 or your local emergency number.
Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). This text-based support line provides 24/7 access to crisis counselors who can help with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, self-harm and other urgent mental health issues.
Samaritans (877-870-4673). Samaritans provide a 24/7 volunteer-staffed helpline for people feeling suicidal, depressed or lonely. The hotline is confidential and provides a tele-interpreter service, allowing callers to receive help in more than 240 languages.
Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255, then press 1). This free, confidential hotline is available 24/7 for all veterans, service members, National Guard and Reserves, as well as their family members and friends.
National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE). Available 24/7, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides free, confidential assistance and support for people affected by domestic violence. In addition to the standard hotline, text-based support is available by texting “START” to 88788.
The Trevor Project (1-866-488-7386). This 24/7 hotline provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ people under 25. Confidential support is also available via online chat and text (text START to 678-678).
If you’re outside the United States, you can use the search function at FindAHelpline.com to find crisis and mental health helplines in your country.
There are no minimum requirements for reaching out for help. You don’t need to be diagnosed with a mental disorder or have any specific symptoms.
If you’re worried about yourself, a loved one or anyone else, you can and should seek support and assistance.
If you’re not experiencing a mental health crisis but want to find help and support, you can reach out using a general mental health hotline.
These hotlines don’t provide crisis counseling and generally shouldn’t be used in mental health emergencies.
However, they can often provide help, support and practical next steps to ensure you know what options are available to you.
For general mental health assistance, try using the following services:
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides a NAMI HelpLine, which offers support and answers questions related to mental health. The HelpLine operates Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).NAMI also offers free online chat with HelpLine specialists, who can provide information, support and resource referrals to help you receive treatment.
The National Institute of Mental Health operates an Information Resource Center that’s available by phone from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time. You can also talk to a representative online.
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) offers an Eating Disorders Helpline for people with eating disorders or those concerned about family members, friends and other loved ones who may have eating disorders.
If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance use disorder, phone-based help is readily available.
Drug and alcohol helplines can transfer you to state services and connect you with a range of local support providers to help you or an affected person receive expert help.
The following hotlines and support lines provide assistance for people facing substance abuse disorders and addiction:
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) operates a free, confidential National Helpline that’s available 24/7, 365 days a year to offer support and help for individuals or families with mental and/or substance use disorders.
The Partnership to End Addiction offers free, confidential text and email-based support for parents and families of young people struggling with substance abuse. You can also schedule a phone call to speak directly with a specialist.
If you think that you may have depression, anxiety or another mental health condition, it’s best to seek expert help from a psychiatrist, therapist or other mental health professional.
Many online mental health organizations maintain databases of mental health providers sorted by area.
You can use these to search for licensed providers in your area:
The Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) operates a Find a Therapist directory that allows you to search for mental health providers by city, location (state or province) or country.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has an online Psychologist Locator that you can use to search for licensed psychologists in your city, state or zip code, or based on their provider name or practice area.
The National Register of Health Service Psychologists offers a Find a Psychologist tool that allows you to search thousands of licensed, verified psychologists by zip code, city or state.
Psychology Today’s Find a Therapist tool lets you search for mental health providers and other healthcare professionals in your city, county or zip code. Detailed lists of therapists are available for all states and popular cities.
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) operates local chapters across the country that offer support groups and other forms of help. Their Find Support feature lets you search for chapters in your local area.
The International OCD Foundation allows you to search online for therapists, clinics and programs and local support groups for OCD and related disorders.
FindTreatment.gov is an online tool provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) that allows you to find state-licensed mental healthcare providers that specialize in addiction and substance use disorders.
Another way to find help in your area is to search for terms such as “psychiatrist” or “counselor,” along with the name of your city or region, using Google or your preferred search engine.
If you’d prefer not to leave your home, you can receive expert help for depression, anxiety and other mental health issues online via telemedicine.
Our online mental health services include psychiatry, individual therapy and private, anonymous online support groups for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, substance abuse, eating disorders and anything else that affects your general wellbeing.
Seeking mental health treatment online is a great option if you prefer to make progress from the comfort and privacy of your home.
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, it’s important to reach out for help. Crisis hotlines such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and others provide immediate support to help you or your loved ones avoid self-harm and seek treatment. For non-emergency situations, you can seek help by reaching out to a licensed mental health provider locally or using our online mental health services.