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Families meeting the challenge of mental illness.

Troubled man.Getting Help in a Crisis

What is a Mental Health Emergency?

A mental health emergency is a life- threatening situation in which an individual is imminently dangerous to self or others due to a mental illness, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, or is otherwise distraught and out of control.

Examples of a mental health emergency include:

  • Acting on a suicide threat
  • Homicidal or threatening behavior
  • Self-injury needing immediate medical attention
  • Highly erratic, unusual, or uncontrollable behavior

What to do in a mental health emergency:

  • CALL 609-396-HELP (4357) to reach the Capital Health Emergency Mental Health Services Center for Mercer County. Available 7 days a week, 24-hours-a- day.
       For adults over 18, ask about the Mobile Outreach Program, which provides services to clients at home or at the site of the crisis. Mobile Outreach may help you avoid possible long waits in the emergency room.
       For children under age 18 with escalating symptoms, call PerformCare and request mobile response and stabilization services 877 652-7624.
  • IF IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, CALL 911 to request the police and an ambulance.
    Ask the dispatcher to send an officer experienced in dealing with people with mental illness. Tell the dispatcher that you are also going to call the Screening Center and request that a mobile outreach team also respond.
  • GO TO CAPITAL HEALTH SCREENING CENTER at 750 Brunswick Ave., Trenton, NJ. Phone: 609-396-HELP(4357). Mental health screeners are available 24/7.

Preparing for a crisis:

Collect the following important information and keep it in an accessible place, such as on the refrigerator.

  • 609-394-6086 (Capital Health Emergency Mental Health Services Center)
  • the name and phone number of the consumer's psychiatrist/ therapist
  • a list of the consumer's medications and dosages
  • the consumer's diagnosis and treatment history
  • contact information for a family member or friend
  • NAMI Mercer's Helpline number: 609-799-8994.



CALL 800-273-TALK (8255)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free, confidential, 24-hour hotline that links you to a network of local crisis centers. If you are not in immediate danger but need to talk to someone about suicidal thoughts, call the National Hopeline Network 24/7 at 800-Suicide (784-2433).


CALL 855-654-6735

The NJ Department of Human Services Hopeline can help you.

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Families Meeting the Challenge of Mental Illness