Crisis Call Centers


Crisis call centers offer real-time access to a person well-trained in responding to mental health, substance use, and suicidal crises. Crisis call centers operate 24/7 every day and are staffed by clinicians overseeing clinical triage and other trained team members. Crisis call centers coordinate connections to crisis mobile team services in the region and connect individuals to care through warm hand-offs and transportation coordination.


Program Models

Starting July 16, 2022, when someone calls 988, they will reach one of 180 existing Lifeline call centers across the country. Calls are directed to the closest call center based on the person’s area code, and a national center provides backup to ensure that no call goes unanswered. Residents who call 988 from communities with behavioral health supports such as mobile crisis teams or crisis centers can receive immediate referrals to services from the 988 counselors. 

The Alternative Crisis Response streamlines the flow of behavioral health crisis calls across 78 primary 911 public safety answering points (PSAPs). Emergency operators, call takers, and dispatchers use a crisis call assessment matrix to route behavioral health crisis calls to the appropriate response.

Trained clinicians staff a 24-hour, non-911 crisis line seven days a week. Staff provide free behavioral health support, referrals to treatment and service providers, and information on non-crisis community resources in any language. As requested, staff can also dispatch mobile crisis response 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Behavioral health call responders are co-located on the 911 operations floor and integrated with the public-safety answering point’s computer-aided dispatch system. When counselors need to dispatch a mobile crisis team, they tap into the crisis line’s dispatch optimization tool (DOT). The app is GPS-enabled mobile phone software that allows call takers to see the location and status of each mobile crisis team and deploy one that’s available and closest to the person in crisis.


Below is a list of funding opportunities that have been previously available from federal and private funding sources. Please note that although the funding deadlines may have passed, they can still be reviewed and considered for future planning purposes. You can check back often on the Announcements page for current funding opportunities as they are announced.

Collaborative Crisis Response and Intervention Training Program

Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-based Program

Connect and Protect: Law Enforcement Behavioral Health Response Program

Cooperative Agreements for Innovative Community Crisis Response Partnerships

Technical Assistance

Many federal agencies and other partners offer assistance, in addition to grant funding, to jurisdictions, agencies and stakeholders to address training needs or the need for subject matter expertise to address local issues or challenges. Through these resources, you can access recent publications, tools, often request one-on-one remote or offsite assistance. Examples of assistance can include time with trainings, consulting time with subject matter experts, and/or opportunities for connecting with peers doing similar work.

Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Abuse Program Training and Technical Assistance

The COSSAP training and technical assistance (TTA) program offers a variety of learning opportunities and assistance to support BJA COSSAP grantees and other local, tribal, and state stakeholders to build and sustain multidisciplinary criminal justice responses to illicit substance use and misuse. Training and technical assistance is provided in a variety of formats, including virtual and in-person training events, workshop and meeting presentations, and online resources. TTA deliveries are provided to requestors free of charge. You can request assistance here.