Emergency/Crisis Services

Call 988
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year

If you, a friend, or a loved one is experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Anyone may call, text, or chat 988 for assistance.

988 is a direct three-digit phone line to trained National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call takers. 988 can be used anytime, anywhere you or a loved one is in emotional distress or having suicidal thoughts. Trained call takers, who are not licensed clinicians, are available to provide free emotional support by phone, text, or chat. You do not need to be suicidal to call 988.

Call or text 988. Chat is available at

Life-Threatening Emergencies

Call 911 if you, a friend, or a loved one are at immediate risk for life-threatening harm to self or another person. Tell the operator there is a behavioral health emergency with immediate danger to the person involved. Request an ambulance transport to a local Emergency Room where you or a loved one may be evaluated by a trained behavioral health professional.


The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides free emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

  • Call: 988
  • Text: 988
  • Chat Online
  • En Español: (888) 628-9454
  • Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: For TTY users, use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.
  • Veterans Crisis Line: Call 988 and press 1, text 838255, or chat online 
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: (800) 985-5990

The Trevor Project is a 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth. Youth can call 1-866-488-7386, text START to 678-678, or use the online TrevorChat feature on the Trevor Project's website for support.

The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, and provides access to free, 24/7 support and information via text. Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, any time, about any type of crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and will responds from a secure online platform.

Hey Sam is a dedicated peer-to-peer texting service for people up to 24 years old. Designed for and staffed by young people, Hey Sam gives youth the opportunity to reach peers if they are struggling, need someone to talk to, or need support. If you or someone you know is feeling lonely, depressed, overwhelmed, or suicidal, reach out. Text: 439-726 | Hours: 9AM-9PM

Child Abuse or Neglect - MA Department of Children & Families (DCF)
All reports of suspected child abuse or neglect must be phoned in to DCF. Please call immediately if you know of, or suspect, an incident of child abuse or neglect. During regular business hours (8:45AM to 5PM M-F) call the Department of Families and Children (DCF) area office that serves the city or town where the child lives.

Nights, weekends, and holidays dial the Child-at-Risk Hotline at 1-800-792-5200.

Domestic or Dating Violence - SafeLink: 1-877-785-2020
SafeLink is for anyone who is being affected by domestic violence or dating violence. The line is available in English and Spanish and has translation capacity for over 130 languages.

Domestic or Dating Violence - LGBTQ - The Network/La Red: 1-800-832-1901
The Network/La Red is a 24/7 hotline that provides support, information, and safety planning to anyone in the LGBTQ community who is being abused, or has been abused, by a partner. Friends, family, and others who work on domestic violence issues in the LGBTQ community are all welcome to call the hotline.

MA Rape Crisis Centers
Click here to contact any of the Rape Crisis Centers across Massachusetts. These Rape Crisis Centers offer FREE services for adolescent and adult sexual assault survivors - and for people who care about survivors of all ages. Services include 24/7 hotlines for counseling, information, and referral to services.

Runaway Youth - National Runaway Safeline: 1-800-786-2929 (RUNAWAY)
The National Runaway Safeline helps youth who have run away or are thinking about running away. Parents and guardians can also contact the hotline if they are worried about their child running away or if their child has already left home.
The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Youth, parents, and guardians can also use the online chat feature on the Runaway Safeline's website to get support.

Transgender Hotline - Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860
Trans Lifeline is a free crisis hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people. The hotline is open 24/7, and they have operators guaranteed to be on call from 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM EST every day.

Elder Abuse Hotline: 1-800-922-2275
Elder Abuse reports can be filed 24 hours a day either online or by phone at 1-800-922-2275. Elder abuse includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; caretaker neglect; financial exploitation; and self-neglect.
Elder Protective Services can only investigate cases of abuse where the person is age 60 and over and lives in the community. To report abuse of a person with a disability under the age of 60, call the Disabled Persons Protection Commission at (800) 426-9009. To report abuse of a person by nursing home or hospital, call the Department of Public Health at (800) 462-5540.

Planning in Case of Emergency

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Massachusetts has an excellent webpage to help you navigate a mental health crisis or support someone else who is experiencing a mental health crisis. Planning ahead can help ensure that preferences are honored during a crisis and may also help prevent you or your loved one from needing crisis-level services.

This guide prepared by the National Federal of Families for Children’s Mental Health helps families learn how to work effectively with police when youth are in mental health crisis.