If you are experiencing a crisis, reach out now.

Lancaster County Crisis Line: (717) 394-2631
Lancaster Crisis Intervention provides 24-hour service to persons experiencing frightening desperation, loss of control or suicidal thoughts.  This includes a phone hotline, walk-in and outreach. Crisis Intervention also processes involuntary commitment to a mental health unit.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Línea Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: 1-888-628-9454

Crisis Text Line: Text “MHA”  or “HELP” to 741-741

Hiding Behind A Smile

First Steps To
Saving Someone's Life

Many surviving families share how cheerful someone was and that the suicide was a complete surprise. They knew there were dark moments, but they never thought they could lead to suicide. Out of the blue. Suddenly. Without even saying goodbye..

There are many potential risk factors and early warning signs for suicide that we, as a community, should remain aware of - regardless how happy others may present themselves to us. Doing so will allow us to identify those who may be suffering silently or intervene before it's too late.

Some Risk Factors for Suicide Include:

  • Family history of suicide
  • A history of mental disorders (e.g. clinical depression)
  • A history of alcohol and substance abuse
  • Feelings of hopelessness, impulsiveness, or aggressive tendencies
  • Isolation: a feeling of being cut off from the world
  • Perceived barriers from accessing mental health treatment
  • Loss (relational, social, work or finance)
  • Physical illness
  • An unwillingness to seek help because of stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders – or to suicidal thoughts

Early Warning Signs:

  • Talking about wanting to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself such as searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Preoccupation with death
  • Suddenly happier, calmer
  • Loss of interest in things once cared about
  • Giving things away such as prized possessions

Pass Out Wallet Cards

Please call or write to schedule a time to pick up a stack of free "carry and share" suicide prevention wallet cards that may be left in sitting areas, restrooms, and on informational tables. These compact cards are the size of a business card and may be discreetly carried in a wallet or purse to reference in difficult, mental, health-related moments. They also include warning signs and phone numbers to call in both emergency and non-emergency situations.

Other HELP and HOT LINES Available

Pennsylvania’s Mental Health Support & Referral Helpline: 855-284-2494 or https://www.dhs.pa.gov/Services/Mental-Health-In-PA/Pages/default.aspx. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600

Safe2Say: 1-844-723-2729 or www.safe2saypa.org

Veteran Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/veterans/

Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline

Get Help Now Line: (substance use disorders) 1-800-662-4357 or https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Helpline: 1-888-772-7227 or https://pcar.org/help-in-pa

National Domestic Violence Helpline: 1-800-799-7233 or www.PCADV.org

United Way of Pennsylvania: Text your zip code to 898-211 or visit http://www.uwp.org/211gethelp

Mental Health America of Lancaster County: no-cost, one-to-one, non-emergency guidance & ongoing support at 717-397-7461 or mha@mhalancaster.org.

Gun Locks Project

We have partnered with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, West Lampeter Police Department, and Morr's Shooting Range & Gun Store to offer a free kit:

1. free gun lock
2. veteran and county crisis cards
3. gun safety booklets
4. a flyer about the program, including related stats

Gun Lock Kits are available for pick up, at no cost, at any time. Please contact our office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m at 717-397-7461 or mha@mhalancaster.org to arrange a socially-distanced pick up of the kit(s), which are intended for securing any unsecured firearms that you are aware of.

Display A Text Crisis Sign

Request hard-copy or electronic copy of the Text Crisis Sign. This sign can be hung on the wall, inserted behind Plexiglas and positioned for viewing in any room without calling attention to it.

Use it at the point of sale, in a reception area, or any location where someone struggling alone might notice it – and hopefully text for help. 741-741 is easier to remember than a phone number – and texting can be done privately from anywhere.

Request your free signs and any other mental health resources you would like to display by contacting MHA at mha@mhalancaster.org or by calling 717-397-7461.