Ask the Advocate: Crisis Services

You ask, our advocates answer.

In our Ask the Advocate column, we will address topics that we frequently receive calls or messages about.

Our advocates often talk with people who have questions about the crisis services that are available in Minnesota. We receive calls from people who are looking for information about crisis services for themselves, as well as from friends and family members who want to support a loved one who may need to access crisis services.

This month, Suzanne, our Peer Advocate, answers your questions about crisis services.

Q: What are the different kinds of crisis services?

A: There are four different kinds of crisis services: phone crisis, texting crisis, mobile crisis and residential crisis. Phone services are the entry point into the crisis system. A phone counselor may be able to provide you with what you need (calming and resources) or they may refer you to a mobile team, residential crisis facility, nearby urgent care or hospital. Texting crisis services assist with resolving distress and providing resources and referrals. Mobile crisis are face-to-face services. Residential crisis involves short-term overnight stays of a few days until the person is stabilized. Phone, texting and mobile crisis services are provided throughout the state, whereas residential crisis services are available in a limited number of counties.

Q: How do I access crisis services?

A: The main way to access crisis services is to call your county crisis number. Use our search tool to find your county crisis number.

Q: Will mobile crisis services meet me in a public location?

A: Yes, mobile crisis services can come to your home or meet you anywhere in the community.

Q: Can I directly access residential crisis services?

A: No, only a crisis team, an emergency room doctor or a mental health professional who has assessed you can refer you to residential crisis services.

Q: Can a loved one who is concerned about me request crisis services?

A: Yes, a family member or friend can call a county crisis line and request a need for crisis services. They should call the county in which the person experiencing the crisis is located at the time of the crisis. The crisis team counselor will ask questions to determine level of need.

Q: What happens if I have no insurance?

A: Having insurance is not a requirement to receive any crisis services.

Q: Is it possible to prepare for a crisis?

A: Yes, you can create a WRAP Plan (Wellness, Recovery, Action Plan), Steps to Wellness Crisis Plan or a Psychiatric Advance Directive. If you would like further information about these planning documents please call Mental Health Minnesota and schedule an appointment to talk with a peer advocate.


By: Suzanne Bachman, Peer Advocate