Getting Help in an Emergency

When your child or teen is experiencing a mental health crisis, it is frightening for everyone in your family.

What is an Emergency?

An emergency is defined as an acute clinical situation in which there is imminent risk of psychological or physical harm to self or others. MCF Family Peer Support Specialists are not equipped to act as first responders in emergencies.

When should I call Mobile Crisis?

Your local mobile crisis provider may be contacted as a resource with the goal of preventing an inpatient hospitalization, stabilization of the crisis, and linking your child and family to services.

When do I call 911?

In cases where there is the threat of imminent risk of serious harm you should contact 911 immediately. 

When calling 911:

  • Explain to the dispatcher that your loved one is having a behavioral health crisis and explain their behavioral health history and/or diagnosis. 
  • In the case where an overdose is suspected, be prepared to provide the following: What the person is using, when they last used, and the address where the person is. Please stay close and monitor them until emergency help arrives. 
  • Identify yourself and your relationship to the person suffering the behavioral health emergency to the dispatcher, and to the responding officers.
  • Many communities have crisis intervention team (CIT) programs that train police officers to handle and respond safely to psychiatric and substance use related crisis calls. You should ask for a CIT officer if possible. 
  • Be aware that your loved one may be placed in handcuffs and transported in the back of a police car. This can be extremely upsetting to witness, please understand that this is for everyone’s safety. 

Free Resources 

There is Hope App 
(Download to your phone or tablet) 
Free app provides fast and easy access to crisis intervention and suicide prevention support, including an immediate connection to crisis counselors. Download the app from the Apple App Store and Android Google Play Store. 
Online Chat for Youth (Maryland) Online crisis chat services are provided by trained crisis counselors Monday through Friday, 4:00-9:00 pm by the Maryland Crisis Hotline Network. 
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
(talk to someone by phone or online chat)
Phone or online chat available with trained crisis counselors to anyone who is depressed, despairing, going through a hard time, or just needs to talk, including people who are thinking about suicide. 
Crisis Text Line   24/7 support for anyone in crisis. Text HELLO to 741741 to connect anonymously with a trained Crisis Counselor.
Kognito Research-proven training simulations to prepare you to recognize when someone is exhibiting signs of psychological distress or underlying trauma. 
Maryland Overdose Response Program Provides training in overdose response to individuals and families: