Knowing who to call in a mental health crisis can save lives, which is why everyone should be as familiar with the Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL) as they are with 911.
When someone needs help, we have to be ready to not only point them in the right direction, but to make sure they get where they’re going safely.
Here’s how it works: you call 1-800-715-4225 and speak to an experienced and licensed clinician. The clinician will then provide information on a range of mental health services with which you can make an informed decision. When you get off the phone, you won’t just have another phone number to call, you’ll likely have an appointment already scheduled. GCAL staff will also follow up to make sure you actually got to the services you needed and got help. In some areas, mobile services are available to go directly to your home or your child’s school. The crisis line is also complimented by a new web site (mygcal.com) that lets you zero-in on services close to where you live, even pro viding maps to their location.
A range of community-based services now exist throughout Georgia, such as crisis stabilization programs, mobile services and in-home, family intensive treatment targeted specifically to children and adolescents with severe mental illness. We have also expanded substance abuse services for youth which now includes residential treatment centers and outpatient community services.
Common signs of those needing help are persistent depression, anxiety, medical problems, isolation and anger.
Yet, in many instances, the person may not directly say, "I need help." Sometimes, it will be up to a parent, spouse, friend or co-worker to read between the lines and make the call.
When it comes to mental illness and substance abuse, people all over Georgia can now feel more confident that when help is needed, it’s available anytime, no matter where someone may be.
Knowing who to call makes reaching out for help a little easier * and all of us safer.
Skinner is the director of the Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Addictive Diseases.
Georgia Department of Human Resources
Ph: (404) 657.1389