FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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We are Colorado’s first statewide resource for mental health, substance use or emotional crisis help, information and referrals. We formed as a part of the initiative set forth by Gov. John Hickenlooper, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services, to strengthen Colorado’s mental health system. Our purpose is to provide greater access to mental health services, ensuring Coloradans get the right services in the right locations at the right time.
If you don’t know where to begin getting mental health, substance use or emotional help for yourself or someone you know, start here. Colorado Crisis Services provides confidential and immediate support, 24/7/365 on the phone, text, chat, or in person at our walk-in centers.
When you call Colorado Crisis Services, you will be connected to a crisis counselor—a trained professional with a minimum of a master’s degree in the behavioral health field—or you can elect to speak to a trained peer specialist who has gone through similar experiences. We offer translation services for non-English speakers, we engage in immediate problem solving, and we make follow-up calls to ensure you receive continued care.
Depending on the reason, you will either be connected to a crisis counselor or elect to speak to a trained peer specialist. Crisis counselors are trained mental health professionals with a minimum of a master’s degree in the behavioral health field. Peer specialists are individuals who have gone through similar mental health experiences and are now providing insight and guidance to others. They are trained to offer support on a variety of topics.
Crisis is in the eye of the beholder—so if you aren’t sure how to handle a crisis, or a situation that may lead to a crisis, our services are open to you. You can call about anything in your life that you feel you need help with or want to talk about. Common call topics include: depression, substance use, grief & loss, self injury, suicidal thoughts, bullying, stress, parenting concerns, trauma, drugs & alcohol, relationship problems, family crisis, anxiety, domestic violence, homelessness, disability, concerns for a friend or family member, recovery support, and resource questions.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) is based in New York and is routed by area code to regional providers. The area codes for Colorado are routed to two organizations locally, including Colorado Crisis Services, which is a certified Lifeline provider. Most calls are related to suicide prevention or rescue.
The CCS line is dedicated to Colorado and provides access to the statewide crisis system. There is no wrong door for any behavioral health crisis or resource need, and anyone can call either number and get access to the same professional and expert response.
The same number, 1-844-493-TALK (8255), will reach both the hotline and warm line. The hotline is staffed by professional crisis counselors who are equipped to handle a wide range of crisis scenarios. The warm line is staffed by peer support specialists, individuals who have gone through crisis personally and are now available to help others. Upon calling, the counselor or specialist will determine which line will best serve your needs.
The counselor will ask for at least a first name and call back number in case the call gets dropped or disconnected. However, it is not required to give your name.
The confidentiality and security of texts and chats is ensured through the software provider, which uses the same encryption and data protection standards required by major financial institutions to transact business with each other. When using our text service, keep in mind, your information is being sent through your cell phone and involves technology outside of our platform. Contact your cell service providers for more information about security on their end.
Our walk-in centers are open 24/7 and offer confidential, in-person crisis support, information and referrals to anyone in need. If you need in-person assistance or are helping someone with a crisis you can always go to a walk-in center near you. Walk-in centers are located statewide, including the Denver Metro region, Northeast region, Western Slope region and Southeast region.
The appropriate intervention will be determined and if needed, you will receive a clinical evaluation. This may include a brief physical evaluation by a medical professional. If admitted to a Crisis Bed, you will meet with a Psychiatrist within 24 hours, as well as participate in developing a treatment plan that will allow you to transition home safely, with additional supports if needed.
You can use our services whenever you need additional support or feel that you are in “crisis.” You may also just show up at any of the walk-in crisis centers if you are experiencing some sort of mental health, substance use or emotional issue.
In order to begin talking with a crisis text counselor, text TALK to 38255. Please read the terms and conditions that are sent to you in the initial texts from us. We will also ask you for your date of birth and your zip code. After you have ended your text, you will get one additional question in a few hours asking you to rate the “helpfulness” of your text conversation. If you would like to stop receiving texts from us at any time, simply text STOP and you will be removed from our list. If you would like to begin talking to a crisis text counselor again later, just text TALK to 38255 any time.
The Crisis Chat feature is available on the Colorado Crisis Services (CCS) website, seven days a week from 4 p.m. to midnight. Go to www.ColoradoCrisisServices.org and click on “Chat Now”. Once you accept the terms and conditions of this service, you will be directed to a few “pre-chat” questions. The answers to these questions provide chat specialists with basic information. At the end of the chat, the person will also have the opportunity to answer a few questions about the chat experience.
The hotline counselors, as well as the staff at the walk-in centers, have access to over two hundred languages via telephonic translation services. There may also be bilingual staff at some of the locations. Translation is not currently available for our text and chat services.
If it is determined to be the best intervention, a Mobile Crisis Clinician may be dispatched by calling the hotline (1-844-493-TALK (8255)). A mobile clinician may go to a variety of locations in the community (schools, homes, churches, etc.)
Crisis services are available regardless of one’s ability to pay. If an individual has private insurance, a co-payment may be required depending on the plan coverage. No one will be turned away for crisis services. A co-payment is not required at the time of service. However, for texts, standard text message rates from your cell phone provider will apply (consult your cell provider for clarification)
A family member or friend of an individual in crisis may certainly call the hotline and discuss the situation with the clinician to determine the best plan.