Mental health crisis lines

The mental health crisis lines listed below are available for all people in Washington regardless of your income or whether you have insurance or not.

  • For immediate help: call 911 for a life-threatening emergency or 988 for a mental health emergency.

  • For immediate help with a mental health crisis or thoughts of suicide: contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (TRS: 1-800-799-4889) or call or text 988.

You may call your local county crisis line to request assistance for you or a friend or family member (24/7/365) regardless of whether or not you have insurance.

What happens if you call a crisis line?

Once you have called a crisis line, this is what will happen next:

  1. Designated Crisis Responders (DCR) and/or emergency services will arrive on the scene to perform an initial investigation of the crisis. The response time may vary depending on the location, availability of staff, and the information provided to the crisis services and 9-1-1 or 9-8-8 dispatcher.
  2. The DCRs and emergency services may need to ask further questions to determine the appropriate response. 
  3. The individual who is experiencing a crisis may be determined to require services. If this happens, the individual will be detained immediately for involuntary treatment or they may agree to seek voluntary services and develop a safety plan with the DCRs or other behavioral health professionals in their community.

How is an individual determined to meet involuntary treatment?

A person will be determined to meet involuntary treatment under RCW 71.05 if they are a danger to self, others or property because of a behavioral health crisis.

After the person is determined to meet criteria and refuses to access voluntary services, they may be transported from the scene to an Evaluation and Treatment facility (E&T) or a Secure Withdrawal Management and Stabilization facility (SWMS). E&Ts provide mental health specific treatment and SWMS provide substance use specific treatment.

What to do if you call a crisis line for you or for someone else

Please make sure to provide detailed information about the safety of individuals who are experiencing or near the crisis. The professionals who arrive need to know this information to plan accordingly.

What is the involuntary treatment act?

The Involuntary Treatment Act (RCW 71.05, including Ricky’s Law) is designed to support individuals who are experiencing a Mental Health or Substance Use crisis. This means the individual may be a harm to themselves or others due to an issue they are facing in their life. A crisis is a serious event that may require professional intervention and treatment to help the person and those around them. Washington State is dedicated to providing high quality services to each individual and the community. The public plays a key role in communicating the needs of themselves and their loved ones while a person is in crisis.

What if someone has a problem with a substance use disorder?

Washington Recovery Help Line: 1-866-789-1511 (24/7)

If you or a family member has a problem with a substance use disorder, please consider calling the Washington Recovery Help Line. This an anonymous and confidential help line that provides crisis intervention and referral services for individuals in Washington State. Professionally trained volunteers and staff are available to provide emotional support 24-hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, they can suggest local treatment resources for substance use, problem gambling, and mental health, as well as to other community services.