Call 9-1-1 if you or someone you are with needs help now or may be a danger to themself or someone else
Mental Health Crisis: Call 1-800-345-9049
Our CARES agents are always ready to help anyone, adult and children, in a mental health crisis. They will quickly learn about what is happening and find the help you need. If urgent medical help is needed, they will connect you to 9-1-1. For TTY, dial 7-1-1.
Call CARES when you or someone is:
- Thinking or speaking about harming themselves
- Thinking or speaking about harming others
- Being or has been victimized/traumatized
- In harm’s way without immediate assistance
- Out of control or “acting out”
- Emotionally or mentally distressed and/or is not speaking for significant lengths of time
- Depressed and you are worried
- Having any other behavioral health crisis
Call the police or emergency department when you need:
- Police intervention (e.g. weapons involved, serious assault, etc.)
- Medical attention (e.g. seriously injured, overdosed, etc.)
What do I need when I call CARES?
CARES needs this information to get started:
- First and last name (of the person in crisis)
- Date of birth
- Home address
- Phone number
Other helpful information (not required):
- Past psychiatric hospitalizations, if any
- Prescribed psychiatric medications, if any
- Current health insurance ID card, if any
People under 18 years of age, CARES also needs:
- Parent/guardian first and last name
- Parent/guardian home address
- Parent/guardian phone number
DCFS Youth-in-Care, CARES will need:
- DCFS Case ID
- Caseworker’s first and last name
- Caseworker’s phone number
During your CARES call
Your CARES agent will:
- Tell you that your call will be recorded.
- Ask you about the person in crisis.
- Identify and give the right help.
At the end of your call, your CARES agent can:
- Send a mobile crisis response (MCR) or SASS team to the location of the person in crisis; or,
- Refer community services who can help with one or more of your needs
CARES and MCR (Mobile Crisis Response) or SASS
The CARES Crisis Line is the central intake hub for the MCR program and is a part of every Medicaid health plan in Illinois.
CARES agents follow guidelines to decide and issue eligibility for crisis services. An MCR is an option when the person in crisis is:
- In a Medicaid health plan, or
- Meets the guidelines to sign up
An MCR team can be on-site, any place in Illinois, in 2 hours or less. The MCR team will make sure everyone is safe and the crisis is calmed down. They will figure out the best way to help the person in crisis.
Access designated mobile crisis response providers and their service areas on Illinois’ Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) website.
Looking for non-crisis services?
Read about other community resources and helpful links.