Our Crisis Centers
What is a Crisis Center?
A crisis center is a facility where individuals going through personal crises can obtain help. In mental health and suicide prevention, a crisis center provides mental health services and emotional support services for their state or local communities. Most crisis centers are non-profit and many utilize trained volunteers as well as professionals.
Crisis centers are the ultimate “community mental health service,” as they usually serve the entire community, often at all hours and free of charge. Smaller centers serve a few thousand people each year, while others serve hundreds of thousands annually, depending on their community’s size and the strength of their funding sources. They are a also a vital resource to their community service systems by connecting callers to providers that exist to care for their needs.
Each crisis center offers its own set of services. All of those in the Lifeline network operate local helplines (beyond answering the national Lifeline), and many offer other crisis care services, such as text, chat or mobile outreach. Centers also provide training and educational resources in suicide prevention and wellness, sharing best practices and strengthening the safety net of their local community and the state as a whole.
Crisis Centers and the Lifeline
The Lifeline is composed of a large network of over 150 local- and state-funded crisis centers located across the United States. It is the counselors at these local crisis centers who answer the calls and chats the Lifeline receives from people in distress every single day. Lifeline crisis centers provide the specialized care of a local community center with the support of the national network.
Lifeline’s united national network is able to provide at-risk individuals across the country with a single, well-known phone number and name. This single number and network also allows for consistent standards across centers. The Lifeline assures that centers are accredited, provides training for counselors, and disseminates best practices in the field.
While the Lifeline provides training and rigorous standards of care, the individual crisis centers offer callers the custom, local crisis counseling that is the key to the Lifeline. Calls to the Lifeline are routed to their closest center based on area code, with the aim of connecting callers to counselors in their own state. Local counselors at crisis centers also have access to community mental health resources, and can provide referrals to local services. Crisis centers in the Lifeline network also continue to run their local crisis lines.
Why Crisis Centers Need Your Help
The Lifeline’s crisis center hotline service have been shown by research to be effective, life-saving safety nets for those in mental health crisis. While the Lifeline is a national program, the funds that sustain our network’s crisis centers come from state and local funders. Many of our network’s centers are struggling to find enough funding and resources to operate and grow.
When we support our local centers, the entire state reaps the benefits. Crisis centers are key components of county and state behavioral health systems, providing a safety net for those at serious risk, especially those with nowhere else to turn.
How To Support a Crisis Center
Interested in donating to your local crisis center directly? Go to their web site or contact your nearest Lifeline crisis center directly and see how you can contribute.
Many Lifeline centers have volunteer opportunities, and a number of them depend largely on volunteer help. Reach out directly to your local crisis center and ask them how you can help.
Advocate for Them
If you have been helped by a crisis center or know someone who has, you know how important they can be to people in your community. Let your crisis center know how you appreciate them, and ask how your voice can assist them in advocating for more funds and resources to continue growing and serving your community.
Organize A Fundraiser
Organize a fundraiser in your community to help support your local crisis center and donate a percentage or all of the proceeds. Contact your local Lifeline center and see how your event might benefit their work, and make it happen!
Participate On Social Media
While not all crisis centers in our network have a social media presence, you can still help educate the public online about how important crisis centers are and ways to support them.