There are ways to get mental health help if you, or someone you know, has a mental illness, struggles emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health. Get help for yourself or a loved one with these resources.
Find immediate help in a crisis
If you or someone you know from the United States and is in immediate danger should contact 911 or go to an emergency room.
Chat with Lifeline on the web
Lifeline offers a 24-hour, 7-day a week crisis service that is free and confidential. People can reach their nearest Lifeline crisis center through the Lifeline national network via Lifeline. The crisis centers offer mental health counseling and referral services.
Disaster Distress Helpline
Text or call 1-800-985-5990
People experiencing emotional distress due to a natural or a human-caused disaster can call the disaster distress helpline and get immediate crisis counseling. Our 24-hour, seven-day-a-week helpline is free, multilingual and confidential.
In an emergency, dial 911 or contact social media outlets directly if you have concerns about a friend’s social media posts.
Find a health care provider or treatment
In general, mental health issues are treated through therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Treatment can be provided in person or over the phone or computer (telemental health). Choosing a provider who will meet your needs can sometimes be difficult. However, there are many ways to get the care you need.
Primary care provider: An initial screening for mental health and referrals to mental health specialists can be provided by your primary care practitioner. Consider discussing your mental health concerns with your primary care provider during your appointment.
Federal resources: The federal government offers resources for finding health care providers and finding low-cost health care. These resources include:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Contact the Treatment Referral Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for information on mental health and treatment services in your area. There is also a Behavioral Health Treatment Locator on the SAMHSA website that allows users to find treatment by location.
- Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA): This agency promotes health care access. Find affordable healthcare on the HRSA website, including health centers that offer sliding fee scales.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): There is information on the CMS website about benefits, eligibility, and enrollment in mental health programs.
- The National Library of Medicine (NLM) MedlinePlus: Directory and list of organizations on the NLM website can help you find a health care provider.
National agencies and advocacy and professional organizations: Getting information about mental health providers from advocacy and professional organizations can be helpful. Many of their websites have information about finding mental health professionals, and some have a practitioner locator.
State and county agencies: There may be information on health services in your area on the website of your state or county government. If you visit their websites and search for the health services department, you may find this information.
Insurance companies: Several local providers are likely to be covered by your insurance plan if you have health insurance. A searchable database of participating clinicians can be found on the websites of many health insurance companies.
University, college or medical schools: There may be treatment options available at your local university, college, or medical school. Try looking for the psychiatry, psychology, counseling, or social work departments of the university health centers near you.
Help for Service Members and Their Families: It is possible for current and former service members to experience mental health problems that are different from those faced by the general public. Military and veteran resources are available on the MentalHealth.gov page Help for Service Members and Their Families or on the Mental Health page of the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
Making the right choice of a provider
You can prepare a list of questions once you find a potential provider to help you decide if you are a good match. Here are a few examples of questions you may want to consider:
- How long have you been treating people with my issue?
- What are your usual treatment methods for my issue?
- Is my treatment expected to last a long time?
- Can I use my insurance?
- How much will it cost?
The best treatment comes from a good working relationship with your mental health provider. Discuss your concerns with your provider, or consider finding another provider or type of treatment if you don’t feel comfortable. Consider talking to your doctor or another trusted adult if you are a child or adolescent. Talk to your doctor before stopping current treatment.
Join a study
Researchers use clinical trials to investigate new approaches to prevent, detect, and treat diseases and conditions, including mental illnesses. An important objective of clinical trials is to determine whether a new treatment or test is safe and effective. Participants should be aware that although clinical trials may benefit them as individuals, they are primarily intended to gain new scientific knowledge in order to help others in the future.
Patients and healthy volunteers are involved in many studies conducted at NIMH and across the country. Due to what clinical trials uncovered in years past, we now have new and better treatment options. Help find the answers to tomorrow’s medical problems. Get an understanding of the benefits and risks of clinical trials from your doctor before deciding if one is right for you.
Mental help for UK residents
There are a lot of places you can go for help if you’re experiencing mental health issues or need immediate support.
We are unable to provide individual or urgent support to people in crisis because we are focusing on challenging stigma and discrimination in society. However, there are numerous resources available for mental health helpline UK. Below are some:
NHS England IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies)
Those living in England can use this website to find and refer themselves to mental health services in their area.
You should seek immediate expert advice and assessment if you are experiencing a mental health crisis.
Even though services seem busy due to Coronavirus at the moment, knowing that support is available is important.
NHS urgent mental health helplines
The NHS provides mental health services to people of all ages.
You can contact:
- Support and advice are available 24 hours a day for you, your family, your child or a loved one.
- Talk to a professional to get mental health help.
- Make sure you get an assessment to help you determine your treatment options.
Call 111 for advice or request an urgent appointment with a doctor if:
- NHS mental health helpline is not accessible to you in your area.
- The problem with your mental health is urgent, but not an emergency.
- You don’t know what to do.
You can call 111 to find out where to get help if you need it.
You can also use the NHS 111 online service.
You may be able to reach a nurse, or nurse who specializes in mental health, by phone.
You can get mental health services from your GP as well as receive advice about helpful treatments. It is possible that some of these mental health services can be accessed by yourself.
You should call 999 or go to A&E immediately if:
- Someone has taken an overdose or been seriously injured – their life is at risk.
- Neither you nor another person feels safe.
Mental health emergencies are just as serious as physical emergencies. This will not be a waste of time.
Call 911 immediately.
Mental health help Canada
Canadians can use these resources in emergencies to get help for mental health:
Canada suicide prevention service
The Canada Suicide Prevention Service provides 24×7 service to anyone who is thinking about suicide. The phone number is 1-833-456-4566.
Residents of Québec can call 1 866 APPELLE (1.866.277.3553).
You can find crisis centers and crisis organizations near you at Crisis Services Canada.
Hope for wellness helpline
Contact Hope for Wellness online or by calling 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free).
The program is open to all Indigenous people in Canada who require immediate crisis intervention. When you want to talk or are distressed, you can call an experienced and culturally sensitive helpline counselor for help.
Counseling is available in both English and French over the phone and online. Additionally, Inuktitut, Ojibway, and Cree counseling are available upon request.
Mental help Australia
Residents of Australia can use these resources in emergencies to get mental health help:
Beyond Blue is committed to increasing awareness and reducing stigma of depression and anxiety. Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or chat online or send an email.
Any time of the day or night, you can speak to a trained mental health professional. All conversations are confidential. You will be able to gain information and advice from them, as well as be directed toward seeking further support.
Blue Knot Foundation Helpline
Blue Knot Foundation Helpline is the National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma. Families and communities of adults who have suffered childhood trauma and abuse can seek support, education, and resources from this ministry. The helpline can be reached between 9am – 5pm AEST by calling 1300 657 380, or by emailing [email protected]
Head to Health
Australia’s Department of Health created Head to Health to help support mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic by providing trusted information. The website includes:
- Keeping your mental health in top shape
- Managing financial stress
- Getting treatment for mental illness
- How to talk to children about coronavirus
- How to protect the elderly
The Lifeline suicide prevention program and crisis support service is available 24 hours per day. Call if you’re in crisis, suffering from suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, loneliness, abuse or trauma, or if you want information for a friend or family member. Lifeline centers offer the following services:
- In-person counseling
- Help with gambling problems
- Youth services
- Migrant assistance
- Rural outreach
- Counselling for children, visits to aged care facilities
- Indigenous support services
You can text/call/chat online on 0477 13 11 14 (12pm to midnight AEST) or call 13 11 14.
Anyone living with complex mental health issues in Australia, including friends, families and health professionals, can access support from SANE Australia. Contact between 10am and 10pm (Mon – Fri) on 1800 18 7263, or chat online.
Mental health services New Zealand
These resources can be used by Australians in emergency situations to get mental health care.
You must act immediately if you are concerned about someone’s immediate safety.
- You can dial 111 or take them to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department (A&E).
- Get in touch with your nearest hospital or the mental health crisis assessment team at your district health board.
- Stay with them to provide them with support.
Depression.org.nz – Free text number 4202
The website provides information about depression and anxiety in New Zealand. This website is part of the National Depression Initiative, a national public health program. A self-help program is available online at The Journal.
Like Minds, Like Mine
The campaign Like Minds, Like Mine aims to fight the stigma against mental illness. The purpose of this program is to increase social inclusion and decrease stigma and discrimination for people with mental health issues.
Have a question? Feel free to call or text 1737 at any time.
Call or speak with a trained counselor:
- the Depression helpline – 0800 111 757
- Alcohol drug helpline – 0800 787 797
- Gambling helpline – 0800 654 655
- Healthline – 0800 611 116 – to speak with a nurse 24 hours a day
- Lifeline – 0800 543 354
- Samaritans – 0800 726 666
Mental health services Ireland
The YourMentalHealth information line can be reached at Freephone 1800 111 888 if you would like to know about the mental health services and support available in your area. If you need support or information about services, you can also text 50808 for help.
When your GP is unavailable to help you, there are options such as contacting the out-of-hours service of your local GP or getting help from your local mental health unit or hospital. You can text 50808 at any time to get help.
You or someone you know should call 999 or 112 if you or they need emergency assistance.
Health services at your Local Health Office
Mental health services are provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE). Normal mental health teams consist of a consultant psychiatrist, a psychiatrist registrar, and a mental health nurse. Many locations offer addiction counseling, psychology, social work and occupational therapy services.
Mental health services South Africa
List of mental health helplines
- Akeso psychiatric response unit – +27 (0) 86 143 5787
- Elderly Helpline – +27 (0) 80 000 3081
- SA Depression and Anxiety Group suicide line – +27 (0) 80 056 7567 / +27 (0) 11 234 4837