NEW! ACTION line
(Adult Crisis Telephone Intervention and Options Network)
For adults in distress who are 18 years of age or older
Available 24/7, 365 days a year
Crisis Services for Youth
For children under age 18, call 2-1-1.
For 24/7 access to substance use treatment, including detox and transportation, call the Access Line at 1-800-563-4086.
DMHAS Office of the Commissioner Contacts
Erika Echevarria, LCSW, EBP Behavioral Health Clinical Manager,
Dana Begin, OTR/L, MPA, Director of Evidence-Based Practices and Grants Division,
988 – The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
- The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) is a network of more than 200 state and local call centers funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by Vibrant Emotional Health.
- In Connecticut, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and Department of Children and Families (DCF) fund the Connecticut 988 Contact Center operated by the United Way of Connecticut/211.
- 988 Contact Center services include rapid 24/7 access to trained crisis contact center staff who can help people experiencing suicidal, substance use and other mental health crises, provide referrals to resources, and perform warm transfers to mobile crisis services or emergency services as needed/desired. Studies have shown that after speaking with a trained crisis counselor, most people served by the Lifeline are significantly more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed and more hopeful.
- July 16, 2022 is the 988 “soft launch” beginning the transition to 988 across the United States. This means that the number is active, but it is important to understand that the crisis service system infrastructure is still in development, and each state and territory is at different stages of readiness for 988. There is still much work to be done at the federal, state and local levels.
- 988 will continue to grow and evolve over the years, just as 911 and the emergency medical service system has grown over the past five decades.
- To reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, people can call or text 988 or chat at www.988lifeline.org.
- For more information on 988 in CT and available crisis services, please visit: 988 – The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in the United States - Prevent Suicide CT.
ADULT MOBILE CRISIS SERVICES
Definition of a Crisis
A mental health and/or substance use/addiction crisis is defined by the individual. “…Self-definition of a crisis is a fundamental part of a recovery-oriented, trauma–informed approach” (Development Services Group to SAMHSA-State-Level Approaches to Building Crisis Response Systems, July 2015)
To provide persons in distress (crisis) immediate access to a continuum of crisis response services and/or supports of their choice including, mobile clinical services and community supports; to promote the prevention of crises among persons and families; and to provide postvention activities that support persons in developing a meaningful sense of belonging in their communities.
The DMHAS Mobile Crisis Service serves all adults in the State of Connecticut who are 18 years of age or older.
Mobile Crisis Teams
Mobile Crisis Team staff provide immediate assistance to people in distress by identifying options and resources that meet the unique needs expressed by the individual. The Mobile Crisis Teams are mostly located across the DMHAS Local Mental Health Authority (LMHA) Network and DMHAS funds and operates MCT services throughout the state. MCT services are mobile, readily accessible, short term services for individuals and families experiencing acute mental health and/or substance use/addiction crises offered in a rapid response framework. MCT aim to promote the prevention of crises among persons and families and postvention activities that support persons in developing a meaningful sense of belonging in their communities. Mobile Crisis Teams are comprised of a multidisciplinary team which may include licensed master’s level social workers, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, peer support specialists, nurses, mental health workers and psychologists.
Finding Services in your City/Town
- Outreach & Education
- Assessment & Evaluation
- Telephone support
- Crisis Intervention
- Critical Incident Debriefing
- Information & Referrals
- Follow-up services
- Safety Planning
- Consultation Services
- Prevention and Postvention
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)
CIT is a best practice designed to provide law enforcement with training on resources to connect persons in a mental health/substance use crisis to community supports and services. It is also a partnership between local police and the community mental health/substance use services network to jointly respond to crises in the community. The goal of CIT is to reduce the need for arrest in favor of referrals to appropriate treatment resources and supports, and, to promote safety for persons in crisis, the community and the police. Every mobile crisis team has CIT trained clinicians who work collaboratively with law enforcement, providing mental health evaluation and recommendations when responding to crisis calls. The CT Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement (CABLE) is the organization responsible for providing basic and advanced CIT training in the State of Connecticut to law enforcement officers and mental health professionals. CIT training emphasizes person-centered, recovery-oriented approaches and interventions and prepares participants to recognize and respond to various mental health and addiction crisis, including trauma; develop effective communication and connection skills; and, identify strategies for police officers to partner with mobile crisis team clinicians who can follow up on calls to ensure that an individual in distress is offered the supports and services of their choice.
Mobile Crisis Response Learning Collaborative
The Mobile Crisis Response Learning Collaborative was established in March 2020 and began with a full day kick-off event hosted at the Connecticut Women’s Consortium in Hamden, CT. Over 100 mobile crisis team directors, managers and staff were in attendance. The state-operated and private non-profit mobile crisis team providers continue to meet on the first Wednesday of each month. The MCRLC Planning Committee meets periodically to discuss topics of interest, identify presenters and develop meeting agendas. Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trained officers and clinicians join the MCRLC quarterly to focus on conversations specific to law enforcement and crisis services.
NEW! ACTION line (Adult Crisis Telephone Interventions and Options Network)
The United Way of Connecticut (UWC), in partnership with the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), has established the Adult Telephone Intervention and Options Network (ACTION) line for adults 18 years of age or older who are in the community and in the midst of a psychiatric or emotional crisis for which an immediate response may be required.
The ACTION line is a centralized phone number answered by 2-1-1 staff trained to offer an array of supports and options to individuals in distress, including: telephonic support, referrals and information about community resources and services; warm-transfer to the Mobile Crisis Team (MCT) of their area; and when necessary, direct connection to 911.
The ACTION line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year (24/7/365) with the availability of multilingual staff or interpreters as needed. The centralized line is available to provide after-hours coverage for mobile crisis providers throughout the state
The services and supports offered through the ACTION line are available to all residents of Connecticut at no financial cost to the caller.
The ACTION line team is comprised of dedicated contact specialists, licensed clinicians and a peer support specialist with lived experience with mental health and substance use/addiction.
The DMHAS mobile crisis teams and ACTION Line staff work in collaboration with family members, peer-run organizations, faith-based communities, law enforcement, and other civic and community organizations to ensure that persons in distress and their families/friends/supporters have the support and resources they need within their local community.
United Way of CT meets and exceeds the highest national standards for a call center. It is a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) provider that maintains national accreditations from the Alliance for Information and Referral Services (AIRS) and the American Association of Suicidology (AAS).
ACTION Line Resources
- CT Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement (CABLE)
- United Way of CT 2-1-1
- Mobile Crisis Intervention Services for Youth
- Coordinated Access Network (CAN) for Housing and Homeless Services
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Access Line
- Office of Recovery Community Affairs
- Prevent Suicide CT
- Peer Run Organizations:
- SAMHSA’s National Guidelines for Behavioral Health Crisis Care: A Best Practice Toolkit
- SAMSHA’s Crisis Services: Meeting Needs, Saving Lives