California Launches Mental Health Hotline

In October 2019, a new mental health hotline debuted in California after receiving support and funding from the state. The hotline allows residents in need of non-emergency help to call or instant message someone for assistance.

Peer-Run Warm Line

The hotline is known as the California Peer-Run Warm Line and can be reached at 1-855-7415. The line is currently staffed most of the day. It is called a “warm” line because the hope is that it can provide the help needed to prevent a situation from needing a “hotline.” The line will be staffed Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. The hope is that the warm line will be staffed 24/7 by the end of the year. The hotline expects to handle about 25,000 calls per year. The city of San Francisco has operated a similar service since 2014 with some success.

The goal of the hotline is to focus on the emotional wellness of the community to help support people who are not in crisis but who still need support. The hotline will also help callers locate more permanent assistance in the community. Supporters are hopeful that it will become an important resource for the community and will help prevent the need for expensive crisis-based interventions like hospital stays. This is especially important in a state where there are fewer acute care psychiatric facilities.

The hotline will provide accessible, relevant, nonjudgmental peer support to those who reach out for assistance. It will help provide a human connection so that someone can avoid reaching a crisis point. The line, however, will not be a crisis hotline. The focus will be on preventing a crisis, not on helping someone in the midst of a crisis. Those callers who need that level of support will be referred to crisis lines and suicide hotlines as necessary.

If you or a loved one has a mental disability and has been arrested or convicted of a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Elizabeth Kelley specializes in representing individuals with mental disabilities. To schedule a consultation call (509) 991-7058.

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