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How to react to a mental health crisis. 

Approaching someone with a mental illness requires a step-by-step process to ensure that they receive suitable help for their current condition. We use an acronym called ALGEE to help people understand the process of dealing with a person struggling with their mental health.

When we train mental health first aiders, we introduce this term at the start because it’s a crucial element of providing help for people with symptoms you can’t recognize or easily determine.

A – ASSESS for risk of suicide or harm.

Try to find a suitable time or place to start the conversation with the person, keeping their privacy and confidentiality in mind. If the person does not want to confide in you, encourage them to talk to someone they trust.


L – LISTEN non-judgmentally.

Many people experiencing a challenge or distress want to be heard first, so let the person share without interrupting them. Try to have empathy for their situation. You can get the conversation started by saying something like, “I noticed that …” Try to be accepting, even if you don’t agree with what they are saying.


G – GIVE information and encouragement.

After someone has shared their It can be difficult to get someone to take action on their mental health, even with encouragement. However, if you are speaking to someone who is suffering, then your encouragement will be the best thing. People often feel ‘alone’ when enduring depression, anxiety or PTSD, therefore knowing they have someone there is all they need. and emotions with you, be ready to provide hope and useful facts.


E – ENCOURAGE professional help

This can be hard too, however, it’s the right thing to do for anyone you see suffering. The sooner they’re able to confront their fears and seek help, the sooner they‘ll recover. As a MHFA, it’s your job to help them to the best of your ability and encourage professional advice.

You can only help them so far, however, sometimes you’ll need to persuade them to seek the help they require. Depression and anxiety require intensive encouragement, especially as many people don’t appear to be ‘bothersome’ or 'a burden'. In this scenario, the best thing to do is discuss what options there are and how you will help them get there. People are more likely to seek help with some encouragement. Make sure you take time to create rapport with the individual or build trust, that way they are more likely to listen since they understand that you are trying to help them.


E – Encourage self-help or other support. 

Here it may be good to talk to the person about taking part in activities or hobbies that may distract them from their emotions. By providing them a way to maintain their mental health, they can help themselves on the road to recovery. Activities that you can introduce them to include; exercise, socialising, reading, gardening and other pastimes.

Nashville Mental Health Crisis Resources

  • Tennessee Statewide Mental Health Hotline

  • Nashville Sexual Assault Center

    • The crisis and support line is available 24 hours a day for anyone in need of support, referrals, and information for themselves or someone they know including assistance immediately following a sexual assault. 

    • 1 (866) 811-7473 (Crisis and support line)

    • (615) 259-9055 (Nashville office)

    • (931) 241-4143 (Clarksville office)


  • YWCA 24-Hour Crisis & Support Helpline

    • Provides a wide range of intervention services to those experiencing domestic or partner violence, including direct intervention and emergency housing.

    • 1 (800) 334-4628 or TEXT (615) 983-5170.


Please note, people answering these calls may be mandatory reporters, and required to make a report to CPS or law enforcement in certain situations. Learn about local mandatory reporter laws here.

  • Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse

    • 24-Hour Hotline provides a professional family advocate from the Center who is available 24 hours a day to provide crisis intervention to individuals who are at risk of child abuse or are clients who need to talk to someone. 

    • (800) 273-4747 (Crisis Hotline)

  • Oasis Center

    • Youth-focused center providing crisis intervention, emergency housing, rapid re-housing, and community outreach.

  • Fifty Forward

    • Supportive services include meal delivery, day programming, and care management assistance. Victory Over Crime program supports older adults who have been victimized by crime. Caring professionals help victims overcome the trauma of crimes such as neglect, financial exploitation, domestic violence, sexual assault, mail or phone fraud, burglary, and physical abuse.

    • Four centers in Nashville; Knowles center and administrative office located at 174 Rains Nashville, TN 37203

    • (615) 743-3400



  • Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug, & Other Addiction Services (TAADAS) Redline

Please consider using these alternatives to calling the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department or 911 when faced with a situation that calls for de-escalation and/or intervention.

These resources were compiled by More Nashville community-based alternatives to policing can be found by visiting the website


Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault




National Mental Health Crisis Resources

National Suicide Prevention Line


Crisis Textline

Text HELLO to 741741

People of Color Crisis Text line

text STEVE to 741741


Call or text 919-231-4525 or 1-877-235-4525

Social Welfare Services (search by location)



National Mental Health Association 


National Hopeline Network

800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

800-442-HOPE (4673)

National Mental Health Association Hotline

800-273-TALK (8255)

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

TeenLine (6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Pacific Time, every night)

(310) 855-HOPE (4673)

(800) TLC-TEEN (852-8336) (U.S. and Canada only)

Or text TEEN to 839863

S.A.F.E. Alternatives (Not a crisis line. Information about programs and referrals for SELF HARM)

(800)-DONT-CUT or (800) 366-8288

National Graduate Student Crisis Line


Post-Partum Depression Line


National AIDS Hotline

1-800-342-AIDS (2437)

1-800-344-SIDA (7432) [Spanish]

National Sexually Transmitted Disease Hotline


Sexual Assault / Dometic Violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline


Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)



Love is Respect Hotline for survivors of domestic abuse

1(866)331-99474 (24/7)

Text “loveis” to 22522

National Domestic Violence Hotline

800-799-SAFE (7233)

Safe Horizon’s Rape, Sexual Assault & Incest Hotline

Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-621-HOPE (4673)

Crime Victims Hotline: 866-689-HELP (4357)

Rape, Sexual Assault & Incest Hotline: 212-227-3000

TDD phone number for all hotlines: 866-604-5350

1 in 6 online helpline: A helpline for Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Adult Sexual Assault [24/7, free, anonymous]

Substance Use

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Helpline and Treatment


Drug Abuse National Helpline


Alcohol Treatment Referral Hotline (24 hours)


Families Anonymous


Cocaine Hotline (24 hours)


National Association for Children of Alcoholics


Ecstasy Addiction


SAMHSA National Helpline

800-662-HELP (4357)


Muslim youth helpline 


Muslim Crisis Text Line 

Text SALAM to 741741

Amala Muslim Youth Hopeline 

Call 855-95-AMALA

Nisa Helpline (Muslim Womxn) 



The Trevor Lifeline


Chat option also available online at

Trans Lifeline

(877) 565-8860

The LGBT National Youth Talk-line (ages 25 and under)


Northwest Network LGBT survivors of abuse


The Anti-Violence Project for LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities:

1(212)-714-1141 (bilingual English and Spanish)​


National Youth Crisis Hotline



 The Steve Fund

If you are a young person of color who is feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious, please know you can text STEVE to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.

Coming Soon

We will be offering Mental Health First Aid Training Soon. If you are interested in the 8-hour class, please email to add your name to the list. You will get a certificate after completing the class. 

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