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

We are all impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are all in this together. To address the impacts, we have advice for those living with mental health conditions, de-stressing tips, and more trusted information to support us all through this difficult time.

Quick Tips

  • Keep up with your treatment plan and maintain healthy habits (diet, exercise, sleep).
  • Stay informed, but consider limiting your news exposure and relying only on trusted sources, including the State of California and CDC; we are keeping our COVID-19 general information page updated with the latest information and additional resources as we get them.
  • Follow advice on virus prevention, including washing hands and refraining from touching your face, maintaining a safe physical distance from others (six feet or more), and staying home when you can. (More in our Guide to Staying informed About COVID-19.)
  • Try to maintain perspective and rely on your social network for support (ways to stay connected, ways to manage stress and employ coping strategies).
  • Know you are not alone and there is help if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis.
    – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
    – 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: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm, ET

For Those With Mental Health Conditions: Advice and Resources

If you or a loved one is living with a mental health condition, consider these tips from NAMI.

  • Listen to and follow advice from your local public health care provider.
  • Ask your health care provider about tele-therapy and mental health services online.
  • For anyone who is worried about access to prescribed medications, you can ask your health care provider about getting 90-day supplies vs. a 60- or 30-day supply. If this is not possible, we encourage you to refill your medications as soon as they are allowed. Note: If healthcare providers deny/decline making accommodations, challenge the decisions at least three times. Decision-makers on making health plan adjustments may change if/as conditions worsen.
  • Practice self-care, especially if you are in the higher risk population as defined by the CDC. Pay attention to emerging symptoms. Reach out to family and friends.
  • Reach out to your local NAMI affiliate for virtual support services.
  • Find more support from NAMI.

For All: Mental Health Advice And Resources

Resources and FAQ on COVID-19; also available in Spanish (NAMI)

How to Protect Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak (NAMI)

Coping with COVID-19: Take breaks from the news, make time to unwind, set goals and priorities, take care of your body, connect with others, focus on the facts
Graphic outlining stress-busters: balanced nutrition, mindfulness practice, physical activity, quality sleep, supportive relationships, mental health care.

Stress Playbooks (Office of the California Surgeon General)

Ways to Stay Connected While Physical Distancing (NAMI California)

Family Guide: Helping Parents and Children During the COVID-19 Crisis (NAMI California)

Resources for Emotional Support and Well-Being (California State)

Managing Stress During COVID-19 (SAMHSA)

Coping Tips for Traumatic Events (SAMHSA)

Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks (Los Angeles Department of Mental Health)

Taking Care of Your Emotional Health and Coping with Stress During the COVID-19 (CDC)

Resources for Well-Being (UC San Francisco)

Tips for Self-Care During COVID-19 (Each Mind Matters)

Managing and Understanding Mental Health Concerns During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Johns Hopkins University)

Coping with Coronavirus Fears and Anxiety (UCLA Health)

Coping with Anxiety Coronavirus in the Face of COVID-19 (Stanford University)

Mental Health Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak (World Health Organization)

Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

Feeling Anxiety About Coronavirus? A Psychologist Offers Tips to Stay Clearheaded (University of California San Francisco)

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions about Behavioral Health (The California Department of Health Care Services)

7 Science-Based Strategies to Cope with Coronavirus Anxiety (The Conversation)

How to Deal with Coronavirus if You Have OCD or Anxiety (Vice)

Mental health experts offer counsel on staying calm during coronavirus pandemic (Washington Post)

Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health During this Pandemic (Washington Post)

How to Fight Fear and Anxiety When Quarantine Ends (Vox)

Policy Brief: COVID-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health (United Nations)

For Frontline Workers

Frontline professionals face many challenges in their day-to-day work life. From the pressure of making sure people get the help and care they need to working long shifts — health care and public safety are stressful fields of work. NAMI has information and resources to help for healthcare professionals and public safety professionals.

Crisis Support

If you are in an emergency, please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Mental health counseling for health professionals, first responders, and essential workers:

CalHOPE Warm Line: For those who feel stressed by COVID-19, call (833) 317-HOPE (4673) to talk with a peer counselor.

Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19

NAMI has reported a 65% jump in HelpLine calls, callbacks and emails for the period of March 1 to April 30 from last year’s numbers in the same time span. (“As calls to crisis hotlines spike amid the coronavirus, those who respond feel the strain,” USA Today)

A survey from the CDC and the Census Bureau found an increase in the numbers of adults with anxiety and depression. The study found that the percentage of adults with symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder increased from 36.4% to 41.5% from August 2020 to February 2021. (Newsweek)

A June 2020 survey revealed “nearly half (49%) of Americans between the ages of 18-29 exhibited symptoms of anxiety or depression.” (NAMI)

“More than 42% of people surveyed by the US Census Bureau in December reported symptoms of anxiety or depression in December, an increase from 11% the previous year.” (“How scientists are tracking a surge in depression: Researchers are using huge data sets to link changes in mental health to coronavirus-response measures,” Nature)

“A wave of psychological stress unique in its nature and proportions is bearing down on an already-ramshackle American mental-health-care system, and at the moment, Taylor [Steven Taylor, a psychiatrist at the University of British Columbia and the author of The Psychology of Pandemics] told me, “I don’t think we’re very well prepared at all.” (“This Is Not a Normal Mental-Health Disaster,” The Atlantic)

“Mental health experts are now bracing for what [Dr. Tom] Insel calls a ‘mental health tsunami.’ They’re anticipating a steep rise in the diseases of isolation—suicides, opioid abuse, domestic violence and depression—that will unfold over the next few months and could stretch on for years.” (“The Mental Health Toll from the Coronavirus Could Rival that of the Disease Itself,” Newsweek)

“Among those with children under age 6, 65% reported their children suffered behavior problems and regression. The most common problems cited were increased irritability, sleep issues and separation anxiety. Some respondents also reported their children wept inconsolably, the researchers found….” (“Italian Survey Finds Irritability, Anxiety in Locked-Down Kids,” Seattle Times)

“Four in 10 adults said in a recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll that worry and stress related to the coronavirus has had a negative impact on their mental health. (“US ill-prepared for coronavirus-fueled mental health crisis,” The Hill)

“In early polling by my organization, the American Psychiatric Association, one-third of Americans said the coronavirus was having a serious effect on their mental health. Subsequent polls from other organizations have shown increases in that number. Crisis hotlines have reported an extraordinary rise in calls, which are the canary in the coal mine for the devastation this pandemic is having on Americans’ mental well-being.” (“In the face of Covid-19, the U.S. needs to change how it deals with mental illness,” Stat News)

““I’m hearing a lot of grief and loss,” said Lauren Hunter, a counselor who works in two public schools in Los Angeles as part of the Cedars-Sinai Share & Care program, which provides mental health services to at-risk students in 30 county schools….” (“In a World ‘So Upside Down,’ the Virus Is Taking a Toll on Young People’s Mental Health,” New York Times)