What do I do if I have a mental health emergency?

A mental health emergency is when the symptoms of the mental illness are so severe that:

  1. The person is afraid he or she can be harmed by not getting help.
  2. The person may put a person’s health at serious risk .
  3. The person may cause harm to a person’s body functions.
  4. Cause harm to a person’s body part or organ.

If you have a mental health emergency, you should do one of the following:

  1. Call your local mental health center at any time
  2. Call your individual provider if you have one
  3. Call the CHP toll-free number. This number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-800-804-5008
  4. Go to the nearest emergency room
  5. Call 911

You do not need prior approval to get emergency services. You can get emergency services from any hospital or qualified provider emergency rooms in your area.

If you are outside the counties in the CHP service area when you have an emergency, go to the nearest emergency room. Show them your Medicaid card and tell them to contact CHP by calling

TTY (800) 432-9553

What happens when the emergency is over?

You may need services after the emergency is over to help you stay stable or improve your mental health condition. This is called Post-Stabilization Care. Post-stabilization services are inpatient and outpatient services provided just after an emergency. There is no charge for the services you get to keep you stable after the emergency.

For more information on post-stabilization services, please reference our policy here.