Crisis Support

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Crisis Text Line

Text NAMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

NAMI HelpLine

Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) M–F, 7 a.m.–3 p.m. PT for free mental health info, referrals and support.

Find a Local NAMI

For a 30-Second Survey, we asked: Since the pandemic started, what have been pros and cons in terms of accessing behavioral health care? Here is a sample of answers from our community members:

“It’s been okay so far, no crisis to speak of, other than financial constraints. Telehealth is the wave of the future!’

“Psychiatry has been easier to access…. since they’ve been providing care over the phone, although they’ve had lots of demand so it has occasionally taken two days instead of same-day.”

“Substance abuse in-patient services have been more difficult to access since facilities are reducing beds, changing intake procedures, and reducing staffing levels (particularly when they employ staff in at risk categories). I have specifically encountered limited access for those who require more attention due to dual diagnosis needs.”

“Out-patient mental health and substance abuse services have been harder to access. Telehealth doesn’t come close to replacing in-person services, particularly for groups. I work with highly traumatized individuals who need the in-person connection to help with emotional regulation and dissociation during treatment…. It has also been a challenge to have multiple residents try to access groups they normally attend together.”

“Mental health hospitals have been equally easy to access.”

“The COVID protocols at mental health crisis walk-in centers have been a necessary but complicating factor – it’s made the initial interaction more threatening (being met outside and questioned before entering).”

“A family member was never able to see a psychiatrist after being referred to one because they had no availability and then the referral expired.”

“I work for an insurance company in providing behavioral health referrals and the primary complaint is not being able to get a call back from any of the psychiatrists they are simply inundated.”

“It’s difficult. Not able to attend a family support as I [can’t use] Zoom for meetings.”

“Access to services is a little more convenient due to virtual appointments. Telehealth does not provide the interpersonal benefits that an in-person session would provide. I have attended AA meetings online but don’t feel comfortable sharing my experience online.”

“I don’t like therapy over the phone, I like seeing my therapist in person… but the option is nice since my car broke down.”

“I like Zoom support group meetings with other people. I’ve been able to take classes with NAMI online too. I like it because it would have been too far away for me and I would have missed the opportunity. I guess this is working out well for people who have trouble with transportation.”

I am a therapist in Oakland, CA and I have been hearing from many potential clients that they are having a very hard time finding a local therapist that accepts their insurance.”

“[a family member with serious mental illness] has not been able to access any support group resources because they are mostly happening via online video. She is dependent on SSI for income and has refused to sign up for low-cost or free wi-fi. She is paranoid that they will raise her rates at some point and she gets paranoid about giving out a credit card number to anyone to pay for anything online.”

“My provider immediately went to telephone appointments with no copays. It was seamless. A bit of an adjustment, but much easier than many of my peers. Prescriptions are received by mail with no shipping fees. Same access as before with ALL providers. I have been more fortunate than most.”

“Currently my husband and I are holding a family to Family class on Zoom which is going well. Great support from our affiliate education team. Support groups and peer to peer activities also going well. Many committed people making good things happen. We and our family are so fortunate. And we know things are very hard for way too many.

“Our computer is not up to telecare, and we don’t have a viable cellphone, so we’ve been sort of on our own in terms of our family member who has issues.”

“Our loved one stays at a state hospital. He is protected by medical staff, but because of COVID-19 there are no group activities. We can’t do anything to support him, just telephone calls.”

“I am fortunate to have my therapist available on Zoom and meet with him twice a month. We use EMDR therapy; it is not quite as effective online as it is in person, but it still helps!”

“It is mixed. Can’t seem to see my therapist more frequently so I was directed to a weekly support group via Zoom. It provides tools to deal with anxiety… I would prefer monthly or two times a month to meet with my therapist.”

“My love one has continued with his weekly appointments – it’s really good.”

“I think accessing care, and finding resources have become a little easier. I appreciate that teletherapy is an option because I do enjoy having more frequent sessions with my therapist to help me through some challenging times. Support groups online have definitely helped me find tools to cope with my own diagnosis.”

“I tried to support friend diagnosed with schizophrenia and asked her Personal Services Coordinator if they have any virtual support groups for their clients and she said no.”

“Our Local NAMI Affiliate is doing a good job of offering Zoom support groups.”

“I had a crisis and finally used the Crisis Text Line (741741) for the first time and felt disappointed by the volunteer crisis counselors response and the wait time. I did share my feedback in their survey.”

“I received a referral for a therapist from my GP, and have yet to pursue due to my negative assumption that the therapist will either not be accepting or will not be covered by my insurance.”

“It’s not the same as going to see your psychiatrist in person, However, phone appointments are a new way to get service. Although I kind of miss seeing my psychiatrist in person, it’s better than nothing at all.”

Share YOUR answer.