Mental Health Crisis Line
24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year
English & French
Open to residents 16 years of age or older living in the specified regions below
City of Ottawa (613-722-6914)
Counties of Grey & Bruce (1-877-470-5200)
County of Renfrew (1-866-996-0991)
United Counties of Prescott-Russell (1-866-996-0991)
United Counties of Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry (1-866-996-0991)
The Mental Health Crisis Line is the first point of public access to the world of mental health services for people who are experiencing serious mental health issues. This could include situational crisis, psychosis, severe depression or anxiety, or suicidal behaviour.
Individuals, families or concerned friends may call the Mental Health Crisis Line where our volunteer Crisis Line Responders will assess each situation, offer support and, if required, connect you with the appropriate Mental Health Crisis Team in your area. The Mental Health Crisis Line offers the following:
- it is available free of charge 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- it is available in English or French
- it is staffed by highly trained volunteer Crisis Line Responders, supported by professional staff
- Crisis Line Specialists provide assessment and screening in every situation
- Crisis Line Specialists provide support in a crisis situation
- Crisis Line Specialists provide suicide intervention, as required
- Crisis Line Specialists will connect you to the Mental Health Crisis Team, if required, with the client's consent
- All calls are confidential within the Distress Centre
Mental Health Crisis Team
The Mental Health Crisis Team works closely with hospital emergency rooms, psychiatrists and police services to ensure a safe and comprehensive response to crisis or emergency situations. The Crisis Team is comprised of crisis counselors, registered nurses and/or social workers, and may be accompanied by members of the police services.
Mental Health Crisis Team services include:
- Crisis intervention
- Links to community support to enable individuals in crisis to remain in their own environment
- Advice for family members
- In certain cases, follow-up and support to help resolve the crisis in a more efficient manner
How to work with the Mental Health Crisis Service:
Individuals, families or concerned friends can call the Mental Health Crisis Line. Calls will be answered as quickly as possible. The Crisis Line Responder who answers your call will offer support and, if required, can make a direct transfer to the local Mental Health Crisis Team.
Following are tips to help you work with the Crisis Line Responder during your telephone discussion.
Please provide all relevant information about the crisis:
- What caused the current crisis? Is there one particular event that caused this crisis?
- What triggered your current emotions or feelings?
- Are you alone at the time of your call or with others?
- Are you currently injured?
- Is this a situation that can be resolved over the phone?
- Provide names of friends or family as available.
You MAY be asked for:
- Your name (that way, the Crisis Line Responder doesn’t have to call you “you”)
- The location you are currently at
- Home phone number, or if away from home, current number you are at
- Names of your family physician, psychiatrist, and therapist, if any
- Community mental health centers you may be affiliated with
- Information about prior hospitalizations
- Information on prior suicide attempts, or acts of self-harm
- Tell the Crisis Line Specialist if you have any means of self-harm or suicide available
- Tell the Crisis Line Specialist any diagnosis you may carry (e.g. bipolar, PTSD, etc.)
- List any allergies and / or medical conditions, including issues of mobility (important if the Crisis Line Specialist tries to arrange for transportation)
Accept help, coaching, suggestions and instructions offered:
- Be willing to have a face-to-face evaluation if transferred to the Mental Health Crisis Team
- Be willing to try to resolve the crisis in your own environment
- Be open to suggestions that are offered
- Cooperate with the worker and work collaboratively to find a resolution
- Do listen to their input
- Be respectful of those who are trying to help you
- Don’t expect the worker to take away your emotional pain
- Be honest and open about your feelings and thoughts, including suicidal feelings
- Practice willingness
- Participate fully in the experience
For more information or to provide feedback on the Mental Health Crisis Service,
you can visit the website at: