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Free mental help crisis hot line available
For Yuma-area residents facing a personal crisis, help is only a phone call away.
Cenpatico Behavioral Health offers a free crisis telephone hot line operated by professionals ready to help those facing substance abuse issues, mental illness or distress.
The operators can be reached 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at 866-495-6735. The service is available to all residents in Cochise, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Pinal, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties, as well as to people who are just passing through.
“They don't have to reside there, just be physically there in the county,” said Melinda Vasquez, chief officer of cultural and community affairs for Cenpatico.
“Our Crisis Line provides triage for people in a behavioral health crisis, assistance and information to family members who are concerned about people in crisis and a ‘warm line' for people who just need to talk to someone.”
The operators have gone through intensive training to prepare them for situations that happen on the other end of the phone, Vasquez said.
“These are behavioral health professionals, behavioral health technicians and nurses certified to do this work and to assist with medication issues or possible substance use disorders.”
There are also “peers” available on the line, Vasquez said. Peers have personally gone through treatments for mental illness, substance abuse or both, and have an intimate understanding of what the caller is going through.
If the person on the phone needs someone to talk to in person, “our crisis line staff will dispatch a crisis mobile team to the location of the caller,” Vasquez said.
The staff “can also refer people to any of our service providers for urgent appointments as needed. You do not have to be enrolled or eligible for Cenpatico services to access our crisis stabilization services.”
It is important those in emergency situations that require police or medical attention not call the hot line, but 911 instead, Vasquez said.
However, if the caller experiences such an emergency during the call, they will be connected with 911.
“For example, if someone has a gun and is threatening, or a person is unconscious or bleeding, call 911. If they call our crisis line and our staff believe 911 is needed, we will connect them. We have that ability.”
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.