Mental Health Crisis Resources in Chicago

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis – call or chat 988

CDPH Suicide Prevention

Being in crisis or helping someone who is experiencing a crisis requires quick action. Knowledge about what to say and do in a crisis can help you get to where you need to go fast. This resource section is designed to help you understand how to access immediate crisis services in Chicago and what to expect.

Simply put, call or text 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or call 911 when you are someone you know is in crisis. Knowing what happens behind the scenes will help you determine the best route in the moment. Disclaimer: Details in this section are intended to build general knowledge and preparedness to approach any mental health crisis situation. If you are in crisis, call 988 or 911 immediately.

Access Crisis Services in Chicago

There are many ways to get access to crisis services in Chicago and different types of supports are connected to each:

24/7 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides free and confidential telephonic support to people in distress by a trained crisis counselor. People can call or text 988 or chat for themselves or if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. The goal of 988 telephonic response is to help someone receive support and resources over the phone. If immediate danger is present or the person needs additional support, 988 call-takers will activate mobile crisis providers in the area to respond to the person where they are located. There are crisis teams connected to 988 that respond across the city.

24/7 Emergency Service line that activates police and ambulance for an immediate in-person response. CDPH's Crisis, Assistance, Response, and Engagement (CARE) team is available for crisis mental health calls Monday-Friday, 10:30am - 4:00pm in some Chicago communities. 911 is the recommended route to take when imminent harm is present, in other words, someone is a substantial risk of harm to themself and/or others (for example, they have a weapon and intend to use it). It is helpful to request a Crisis Intervention Trained officer when calling 911. Smart911 allows you to create a Safety Profile that includes important information you want 911 first responders to have when responding to a call.

If someone is in crisis and needs immediate support, the emergency room of local hospitals can serve as an option. However, the emergency room may not be the best next step in the event of a mental health crisis. There are other options that offer walk-in, specialized mental health crisis supports as an alternative to the emergency room. These options include Living Rooms, Community Triage Centers, and Welcoming Centers. Learn More:

The Living Room is a place to come on a walk-in basis if someone is experiencing life stress and needs immediate support. Staff at the Living Room are available to help people through screening and assessment of crisis and concerns in a natural, comfortable setting.

Community Triage Centers offer an alternative place to receive support in a mental health crisis. Crisis clinicians are available to conduct assessments and provide resources. Community Triage Centers often offer 24/7 walk-in services; however, hours may vary.

The Welcoming Center is a mental health clinic for adults (18+) that offers counseling, case management, and psychiatric appointments. The center is staffed by a team of nurses, social workers/counselors, peer specialists, and advanced practice nurses.

In addition to 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, other hotlines are available to call in crisis that are tailored to specific populations.

  • BlackLine Hotline: (800)604-5841
    Provides a space for peer support, counseling, reporting of mistreatment, witnessing, and affirming the lived experiences for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) who are most impacted by systematic oppression.
  • Friendship Line: (800)971-0016
    Provides emotional support and crisis intervention for adults 60+ or Disabled 18+ and Caregivers – operated by the Institute on Aging.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800)799-7233
    Provides essential tools and support to help survivors of domestic violence so they can live their lives free of abuse. Highly trained, expert advocates offer free, 24/7/365 confidential, and compassionate support, crisis intervention information, education, and referral services in over 200 languages.
  • National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: (833)852-6262
    Provides free, confidential, 24/7 mental health support for moms and their families before, during, and after pregnancy.
  • Screening, Assessment and Support Services (SASS): (800)345-9049
    Provides intensive mental health services for children and youth (under 18) who may need hospitalization for mental health care. Services include crisis intervention, linkage, and coordination of services to other community based mental health agencies for aftercare and outpatient treatment.
  • Trans Lifeline: (877)565-8860
    Provides direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community.
  • Trevor Project: (866)488-7386
    Provides suicide prevention and 24/7/265 crisis intervention for LGBTQ+ young people.
  • Veteran's Crisis Line: 988
    Connects Veterans and Service members in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.

Interested in exploring non-crisis CDPH mental health and substance use resources?

Find Mental Health Support

Too often, dealing with a mental health challenge is a silent, internal struggle - but it doesn't have to be. Even though the moments in which we need help the most can be the hardest ones to ask for it, you're not alone. We understand that sometimes you need a shoulder to lean on, which is why the City of Chicago is committed to supporting your mental health with the resources it takes to keep our communities well. Please click here to Find Mental Health Support in your community.

UnSpoken | Find Mental Health Support