Every therapist loves free resources and I’ve got some great free resources for you in this post. This is information you can really use! I’ve searched the internet and pulled together some phone numbers every therapist should know. There’s a bit of everything on this list: everything from child abuse reporting to suicide prevention.

Print this list out and keep it in your office!

I got a little overwhelmed trying to make this list. There are just so many resources out there. So, I’m asking for your HELP…

Please HELP by leaving a comment at the end of this post with the phone numbers you use the most!

Disclaimer

Before we get to the numbers, just a short disclaimer…

You can always call 911 if you or a client is in danger. You can also call or send a client to your local Hospital Emergency Room, Fire Station or Police Station if one of these is closer or easier to get to. Your local emergency services will help anyone in need or point them in the right direction.

How to Report Child Abuse and Neglect

Since we are Mandated Reporters, we have to report any child abuse or neglect. With stricter standards for reporting, you are probably going to have to call and report child abuse eventually. Some states have expanded mandated reporters to include many other professionals that come into contact with children. In Pennsylvania, doctors, lawyers and many other professionals are now required to report abuse and neglect.

They have also expanded what types of situations we are required to report. In Pennsylvania, we must make a report even if we don’t know the name of the child or hear about possible abuse in our personal lives. This means if a friend says she thinks her neighbor is abusing her child, we must report it. You should have a phone number handy because a time will probably come that you have to report something.

You have 3 choices for reporting; national, state or county. Number 1 on this list is a national number you can call. There are way too many counties in the country for me to list them all. But I can give you a list of state numbers. I put them in a separate post to make it easier. The link for your state numbers is number 2 on this list.

On to the main attraction…

Numbers Every Therapist Should Know:

  • Childhelp  — (800) 422-4453 or (800) 4-A-CHILD
  • Suicide Hotline  — 1-800-273-8255
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline — 1−800−799−7233
  • Cancer Information Service  — 1-800-4-CANCER
 (1-800-422-6237)
  • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders (ANAD)  — (630) 577-1330
  • Eldercare Locator — 1-800-677-1116
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) — 800-950-NAMI
  • CDC-INFO — 1-800-CDC-INFO
 (1-800-232-4636)
 or TTY 1-888-232-6348
  • National Parent Helpline — 1-855- 4A PARENT (1-855-427-2736)
  • American Association of Poison Control Centers — 1-800-222-1222
  • Rape and Incest National Network (RAINN) Crisis Hotline — 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673)
  • The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children — 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)
  • National Runaway Safeline — 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) — 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP to BeFree (233733)
  • National Council on Problem Gambling — 1-800-522-4700
  • 211 — Local referrals

More Details

1. Childhelp — For national child abuse reporting, call Childhelp at (800) 422-4453 or remember it as (800) 4-A-CHILD. Childhelp is a non-profit that provides a national child abuse hotline. They can refer you to your local state and county Child Protective Services to report child abuse and neglect.

Childhelp provides professional help 24/7 in 170 languages. Here’s a quote from the Childhelp Website:

The hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are confidential.1

2. State Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Numbers – Every state has a phone number specifically to report child abuse and neglect. I didn’t want to take up too much room here with all the state numbers so I made a separate post for the state numbers. You can follow this link to a post with child abuse reporting phone numbers for every state.

3. Child Protective Services – In addition to the national number and state numbers, you should have a local number for your county. Usually, this agency is called Child Protective Services (CPS) but it has different names depending on where you live.

It can be so confusing when you change jobs and they call it by a different name. I work in Pennsylvania near the border of West Virginia and not far from Maryland. Often, I hear it called CPS, CYS or CYF. Some agencies changed their names to reflect a move from a child centered to family centered approach.

Here are some other names CPS goes by:

  • Children and Youth Services (CYS)
  • Children, Youth and Families (CYF)
  • Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS)
  • Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS)
  • Department of Social Services (DSS)

or simply…

  • Social Services

Of all the phone numbers to report child abuse, the best one to call is the number for your county. I would love to list them all but there are just too many counties in the country. However, you should find it with a quick Google search (just add your county name) or by checking your local phone book. Plus, some of the states have websites that list each county’s numbers for that state. If I found the county numbers on the state website, I included a link to the webpage listing the county numbers.

4. Suicide Hotline – Many areas have local suicide hotlines which you can find in your phone book. The U.S. government has a national hotline that is covered 24/7 called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The number is 1-800-273-8255. Live chat is available on the Lifeline website. It’s a good idea to put the number and website on safety contracts for clients with suicidal ideation. If they are currently having suicidal ideation, intent and means, contact 911.

5. National Domestic Violence Hotline – This is a great resource if you work with any clients who may be living in a domestic violence situation. They have a great website with lots of resources. The phone number for the hotline is 1−800−799−7233.

6. Cancer Information Service – The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is a government agency that researches cancer. The NCI Contact Center (also known as Cancer Information Service) is a federally funded cancer education service. The NCI website has information about research, clinical trials, cancer prevention, risk factors, symptoms, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, living with cancer and quitting smoking.

The call center can be reached Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time and is available in English and Spanish. The phone number is 1-800-4-CANCER
 (1-800-422-6237). They can also be reach by mail, email and live chat

7. National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders (ANAD) – The ANAD has a helpline that operates Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. They can be reached at (630) 577-1330 and will help find a treatment center for someone struggling with an eating disorder.

8. Eldercare Locator – This locator is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging. They will help you find local services for older adults and their families. They can be reached at 1-800-677-1116 or through the Eldercare Locator website.

9. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – NAMI operates a helpline at 800-950-NAMI that is available Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Eastern Time. NAMI advocates for the mentally ill and their families.

10. CDC-INFO – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a national health information hotline to answer questions about HIV. The hotline will provide information about how to protect yourself and where to get a HIV test. The CDC-INFO hotline can be reached Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST at 1-800-CDC-INFO
 (1-800-232-4636)
 or TTY 1-888-232-6348. The CDC-INFO website has more information about the hotline.

11. National Parent Helpline – This helpline which is operated by Parents Anonymous® Inc. is open to parents and caregivers of children and youth of all ages. The helpline offers trained advocates to listen, offer emotional support, problem-solve, connect to local services, explore new resources and help parents build on their strengths. The helpline is available Monday to Friday from 10 am to 7 pm PST at 1-855- 4A PARENT (1-855-427-2736). Visit the National Parent Helpline website for more information.

12. American Association of Poison Control Centers – This association supports the nation’s 55 poison centers. They offer free, confidential medical advice to prevent and treat poison exposures through The Poison Helpline, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-222-1222. The Poison Helpline website has alerts about the latest poisons, prevention information, a database of poison center calls, the work they do, contact information and links to local poison centers.

13. Pittsburgh Poison Center – This is my local poison control center. I included it because it offers something special that you can’t find anywhere else: Mr. Yuk.

Mr. Yuk, symbol for the Pittsburgh Poison Control Center

Mr. Yuk was created by the Pittsburgh Poison Control Center in 1971 to educate people about poison prevention and promote awareness of the poison control center.

When I was doing research for this post, I was so excited when I found Mr. Yuk on the Pittsburgh Poison Control Center website.

I thought, “I know Mr. YuK!”

I have very fond memories of bringing home Mr. Yuk stickers from school. I remember my mom putting Mr. Yuk on bottles under the sink.

I was so happy to find this and see they still give out FREE Mr. Yuk stickers to help parents mark household cleaners and chemicals as dangerous.

You can request a free sheet of Mr. Yuk stickers by sending a self-addressed stamped business size envelope to:

Mr. Yuk
Pittsburgh Poison Center
200 Lothrop Street
PFG 01-01-01
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

You can get more Mr. Yuk products at the Pittsburgh Poison Control Center website.

14. Rape and Incest National Network (RAINN) Crisis Hotline – This is a hotline for sexual assault victims and provides confidential, one-on-one, crisis support 24/7. Contact the hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673).

15. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children — This national hotline is for reporting if you see a missing child. The hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

16. National Runaway Safeline — This national hotline is available for runaways and homeless youth to help keep them safe and off the streets. You can call for information if you know someone who is at risk of becoming a runaway too. The number is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929). It’s anonymous and confidential. The National Runaway Safeline website at www.1800runaway.org has information and resources for professionals. You can print or order posters, brochures and other promotional materials about the hotline.

17. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — This organization, often referred to as SAMHSA offers a national helpline for individuals and families with mental health and substance use disorders. The helpline will make referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. You can contact them at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). It’s confidential and available 24/7 in English and Spanish.

If you have never been to the SAMHSA website, you have to check it out! They have TONS of FREE resources. You can order books and DVDs on a variety of mental health and substance abuse topics. And it’s all for FREE!

Seriously, they will send you books, posters and all kinds of other stuff in the mail and it doesn’t cost a dime! I LOVE SAMHSA!

The only problem is they often run out of stuff. But many of the books come in pdf form so you can download them right away.

You can also find treatment online through SAMHSA’s treatment locator. They have one for behavioral health and two for substance use disorder.

If you work in the field of addiction, they have a treatment locator for Suboxone and Methadone. I get calls all the time from people looking for a Suboxone doctor and I always send them to SAMHSA. Every doctor who is certified to prescribe Suboxone has to register with SAMHSA so they have the most complete resource of Suboxone doctors.

SAMHSA /sam•sa/ 

On a side note, I always pronounced it sam•sha but I’ve heard people say it like sam•sa which is probably the correct way since the H is before the S (SAMHSA) and would be silent.

18. National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) — This is a national toll-free hotline to prevent and help the victims of human trafficking. You can reach the NHTRC at 1-888-373-7888 or by texting HELP to BeFree (233733). The hotline is available 24/7 and in more than 200 languages. The NHTRC website has information and resources if you don’t know much about human trafficking.

I know it’s hard to comprehend but this is really happening. Modern slavery is real. Most often people are exploited for sex or labor. It doesn’t just happen in other countries or to people from other countries. It is happening in the U.S. and to U.S. citizens. Take a few minutes to visit the NHTRC website and learn the myths and misconceptions about human trafficking.

19. National Council on Problem Gambling — This organization offers a confidential helpline for people who need help with a gambling problem. The helpline is available 24/7 and you can call or text the number 1-800-522-4700. They be also reached via chat at ncpgambling.org/chat. The NCPG website has lots of information and resources about gambling and treatment.

And finally, this one is probably the BEST number every therapist should know…

20. 211 — This is a national helpline that offers information and referrals for many issues like housing, food, utilities, disaster relief, employment, education, and so much more! Just dial 211 or go to their website at www.211.org. Check out their About page for more information. 211 is a toll-free number and available 24/7. 

Works Cited

1. Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2015, from
https://www.childhelp.org/hotline/

Don’t forget to leave a comment with any phone numbers you use or think someone else can use!