Emergency Helplines for Panic and Anxiety

finger dialing emergency number

When dealing with anxiety and/or panic disorders, it is important to know that resources are available whenever you need to speak with someone. These hotlines can be ideal because you may prefer to talk to a third-party as opposed to a friend or family member. Additionally, anxiety attacks or panic attacks may arise at any time, day or night, and there are emergency hotlines readily available when you need them.

If you are having thoughts of self-harm or harming someone else, you can call 911 for immediate help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is considered a mental health emergency and should be taken seriously.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Another resource that is always available is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ and 1-800-273-8255). This hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is confidential. This Lifeline can connect you with a trained professional at a local crisis center. They can provide emotional support and/or additional resources to help you. It is important to note that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is not only for people having suicidal thoughts or contemplating self-harm. If you are struggling with anxiety or panic disorder, you can use this same hotline to receive support in dealing with a crisis. This can be incredibly helpful if you encounter an anxiety attack or panic attack in the middle of the night and just need someone to listen and provide emotional support. And if you need additional assistance, the trained crisis worker can assist by connecting you with the help you need. 

In addition to calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, they also have a “chat” option on their website if you would prefer to reach out electronically. Many young adults prefer text messaging and online chatting to phone conversations, so this is a great option. Also, their website has a separate phone number if you are deaf or hard of hearing, and a separate phone number for Spanish speaking callers. If you speak a language other than English or Spanish, they also have interpreter services available.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also offers a hotline (https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline and 1-800-662-4357) that provides confidential assistance and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This hotline is mainly used for treatment referrals in addition to providing information. If you do not have insurance, this is a great way to explore treatment options through state-funded programs or at locations that offer special rates for those without insurance.

Crisis Text Line

In this day and age, communicating by text message has become increasingly popular.  Crisis Text Line (https://www.crisistextline.org/anxiety) offers support through text messaging 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To get connected, you can send a text message to 741741.  You can also connect with them on Facebook Messenger by sending a message to the page for Crisis Text Line. A live crisis counselor will respond and can help you during an anxiety attack or panic attack, and they are also available to help create the appropriate care plan that meets your needs.

Crisis Support Services

Crisis Support Services (https://cssnv.org/) offers a hotline (1-800-273-8255) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to aid in the event of a crisis, such as an anxiety attack or panic attack. The responders are readily available to listen to you and provide support, and this is confidential and free. Additionally, you can communicate by text message by sending CARE to 839863.  In particular, the text message support allows you to text any time even if there is a long gap between previous text messages, so if the crisis subsides and arises again, someone will be willing and ready to assist when you need it. 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline can also be of assistance Monday-Friday 10am-6pm ET (1-800-950-6264 or email info@nami.org). This helpline can assist by simply listening to what you’re going through but can also provide information on available resources that may be a good fit for what you are dealing with.

Veterans Crisis Line

If you are a veteran, service member, or family member or friend of a veteran or service member, there is the dedicated Veterans Crisis Line (https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/ and 1-800-273-8255, press 1). This line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many of the responders are also veterans, so it may be helpful to speak with someone who has a genuine understanding of your experience. Their website also offers an online chat, or you can send a text message to 838255 to start communicating. Again, this service is confidential. And if you are a loved one of a veteran going through a crisis, this crisis line can also provide support to you during what can be overwhelming circumstances.

Boys Town National Hotline

If you would like assistance specializing in children or family services, Boys Town (https://www.boystown.org) offers both an emergency hotline and a daytime number for resource assistance.  In the event of an emergency or crisis, you can call the Boys Town National Hotline (1-800-448-3000) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained counselors can assist with support and connection to appropriate resources, especially for issues like bullying or various parent/child problems.  For additional assistance, you can call the Boys Town Behavioral Health Services (531-355-3500) Monday-Friday 8am-5pm CT. This line can connect you with resources for many child and adolescent mental health services.

Teen Line

If you’re a teenager, the Teen Line (https://teenlineonline.org/) offers a hotline (310-855-4673) and text messaging service (text TEEN to 839863) for evening and nighttime support.  The hotline is available 6pm-10pm PT, and the text message service is available 6pm-9pm PT; both are open 7 days a week. What is unique about the Teen Line is the responders are trained teenagers – teens helping teens. For teenagers, they may feel that another teenager would better understand what they are struggling with as opposed to an adult.  

Regardless of what you are going through, it is important to remember that you define what a crisis is and do not need to compare it to what you think a crisis should be. Even if you are not having suicidal thoughts or in a full anxiety or panic attack, you can still reach out to any of these resources for assistance. You should never be worried that what you’re going through will not be deemed worthy of the emergency support or support in the middle of the night, which is why so many of these resources are available at all times.