Contact Us: (619) 543-7745

Mental Health Crisis


After Hours Mental Health Emergencies: 619-543-6737

If you need to speak to someone urgently and it is after hours or on weekends please call the UC San Diego after hours line and ask the page operator to contact one of the CARE clinicians or the psychiatrist on call.

Business Hours Mental Health Emergencies (9am-5pm, M-F) : 619-543-7745

If you or your child is a patient of ours and you need to speak with someone urgently, please call our front desk and ask to speak with a clinician.

Non Urgent Matters:

To schedule or change appointments and for other non urgent matters please call  619-543-7745.

What is a mental health crisis?

A crisis is any situation in which a person’s behaviors puts them at risk of hurting themselves or others and/or when they are not able to resolve the situation with the skills and resources available.

The state defines an “emergency psychiatric condition” as a condition in which a person, due to a mental disorder, is an imminent danger to self or others or is immediately unable to provide for or utilize food, shelter, or clothing (Gravely Disabled).

What are the warning signs of a mental health crisis?

In general, the following are among the common indicators of psychosis and other thought disorders:

  • Disordered thinking and speech
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Inability to cope with daily tasks
  • Isolation from school, work, family, friends
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Increased agitation, making verbal threats,violent, out-of-control behavior
  • Displays abusive behavior
  • Cutting, burning or other self-injurious behavior, abuses alcohol and/or other drugs
  • Loses touch with reality (psychosis)
  • Strange behaviors or actions, including inappropriate social behaviors, dressing inappropriately for the weather, etc.

The following are common suicide warning signs

  • If a person talks about killing themselves, having no reason to live, being a burden to others.
  • An increased use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means.
  • Acting recklessly and impulsively.
  • Withdrawing from activities and isolating from family and friends.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.

What to do?

If you have a family member or friend who is a serious risk to themselves or others,  try to get the person to seek help immediately from an emergency room, physician, or mental health professional. You will find resources in the text box above.

Not in Immediate Danger

  • If you do not believe your loved one is in immediate danger, call a psychiatrist, therapist, case manager or physician who is familiar with the person’s history. This professional can help assess the situation and offer advice.
  • The professional may be able to make an appointment or admit the person to the hospital. If you cannot reach someone and the situation is worsening, do not continue to wait for a return call.Take another action, such as calling your county mental health crisis team.
  • If safety is a concern, call 911. However, make sure to tell them this is a mental health concern.

Other Resources

Psychiatric Emergency Response Team: 911

UC San Diego Emergency Room: (619) 543-3400

Access & Crisis Line: (888) 724-7240

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
Chat Online:  Lifeline Crisis Chat

NIMH Mental Health Crisis
Español / English


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140 Arbor Drive, 4th Floor
San Diego, CA 92103
Tel: (619) 543-7745
Fax: (619) 543-7315
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