Mental Health Matters: Care, Support Available to Those Facing Challenges
Mental health is an incredibly important part of overall health. We all struggle during challenging times and need support and access to care to thrive.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. One in 5 American adults — and 1 in 6 youths — experience mental illness each year, and less than half of them receive treatment. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.
Taking steps to improve mental health can look different for everyone. Perhaps you’d like to talk to someone, focus more on self care, consider medication, and/or seek other treatments. No matter your challenges, there are options to help you.
Please know that you are not alone.
- Mental Health Resources — Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- Mental Health in PA — Department of Human Services
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please reach out for help.
- Call 911: If there is an immediate risk of endangering oneself or others, contact 911. Inform the operator that you are calling about a mental health crisis.
- Crisis Text Line: Text PA to 741741 to start the conversation 24/7.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
If you or someone you care about is experiencing thoughts of suicide, please call the Lifeline. (Español: 888-628-9454)
- PA Crisis Hotlines: Find a crisis line in your county.
988: Reimagining Crisis Response
PA residents made more than 76,000 calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in 2020. In fall 2020, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act was passed by Congress establishing 988 as a three-digit nationwide mental health and suicidal crisis number to be available in communities by July 2022. Dialing 988 will route callers directly to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
What does this mean for Pennsylvanians?
- PA has 13 call centers that are members of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, with trained staff who assist callers and connect them to local resources across the state. They will continue to provide these services for callers who dial 988.
- Approximately 80-90 percent of calls are resolved through conversation with the trained call center staff, and without need for mobile response dispatch.
By directing callers with a behavioral health crisis that isn’t life threatening to contact 988 for assistance, the response provided by law enforcement, EMS, and other public safety services personnel can be reserved for situations in which lives are endangered.
Mental Health Resources for Pennsylvanians
- PA Support & Referral Hotline: 1-855-284-2494 (TTY:724-631-5600)
The Department of Human Services’ mental health support and referral helpline is available 24/7 and is a free resource staffed by skilled and compassionate caseworkers available to counsel Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions.
- Get Connected to Help
- Office of Advocacy and Reform (OAR)
A group of volunteers focused exclusively on setting guidelines and benchmarks for trauma-informed care across the commonwealth.
For Service Members/Veterans
Are you a veteran in crisis or are you concerned about a veteran in crisis? Here’s how to connect with the Veterans Crisis Line:
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s Veterans Crisis Line:
1-800-273-8255, then press 1
- Send a text to 83825
- Chat with someone online
- Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line online
For Violence Survivors
- Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Helpline: 1-888-772-7227 or pcar.org/help-in-pa
- National Domestic Violence Helpline: 1-800-799-7233 or www.PCADV.org
For Older Pennsylvanians
- SOLO: Strengthening Older Lives Online — View in English or Spanish
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Council on Aging (PCoA) released an interactive guide with information and resources to help older adults cultivate a healthy mind, body and spirit amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic
For Substance Use
- Get Help Now Helpline — 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
A toll-free helpline maintained through the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) that connects callers looking for treatment options for themselves or a loved one to resources in their community. Calls are anonymous and available 24/7.
- Find Treatment Near You: DDAP Treatment Search
The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ (DDAP) search engine allows you to search by ZIP code, county, or statewide for programs that could help you.
- Naloxone Standing Order — www.pa.gov/opioids
Naloxone is still available to all Pennsylvanians through a standing order signed by Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Denise Johnson. Carrying naloxone on-hand at all times can be a life-saving action.
- Alcoholics Anonymous: Find resources and/or meetings that work for you.
- Cocaine Anonymous: Find a video or email meeting.
- Narcotics Anonymous: Narcotics Anonymous offers multi-lingual and multicultural support. Use the website to find meetings and resources.
- SMART Recovery: There’s life beyond substance use disorder. Find meetings that are free and open to everyone.
Treating Heroin and Opioid Use Disorder: Pennsylvania’s online guide of resources for those battling opioids