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Home » Help in a Crisis » Children / Adolescents

Children in Crisis Right Now

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Click here to view or print Getting help for Children or Adoloscents in a Crisis in:

English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Farsi


Getting help for Children or Adolescents in Crisis

If you or someone close to you is experiencing a crisis due to mental illness or emotional disturbance, and may be imminently dangerous to others or self, you should call 911.

If the person is in crisis, but the situation does not appear to be an emergency here are some resources:

Children’s Hospital (under 12)

Staff is available 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies such as a child's suicide attempt or out-of-control behavior.  Bring child in to be assessed in ambulance or, if it is safe, by car.  The BERT (Behavioral Emergency Response Team) will decide whether the child can return home or be admitted into a county contracted inpatient hospital.

Willow Rock Crisis Stabilization Unit (ages 12-17)

Provides short (up to 23.5 hours) drop-in services for adolescents experiencing a mental health crisis and who do not meet the criteria for hospitalization. Highly-skilled clinicians and counselors quickly assess the needs of each adolescent and provide interventions specially designed to return them safely to their homes, schools and neighborhoods. Youth who are at imminent risk of harm to self or others will be considered for admission to the adjoining acute inpatient program.  Involuntary and voluntary.


  • 2050 Fairmont Drive, San Leandro, CA  94578
  • 510-483-3030


Willow Rock Center-Psychiatric Inpatient Facility (ages 12-17)

Provides acute psychiatric inpatient services including 5150 holds ("5150" refers to an involuntary, 72-hour hold).  Includes comprehensive evaluation and risk assessment, collaborative treatment planning with a recovery focus, crisis planning and prevention, supportive counseling, on a group and individual basis, medication evaluation and management and discharge planning.  Accepts private insurance and Medi-Cal.  Voluntary and involuntary.


Herrick Hospital (ages 12-17)

Provides inpatient services for adolescents including 5150 holds ("5150" refers to an involuntary, 72-hour hold).  There are three tracks available; mental health, eating disorders and dual diagnosis (mental health issues and drugs and/or alcohol addiction).

Accepts private insurance and Medi-Cal.  Voluntary or involuntary.


2001 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA 94704



Crisis Support Service of Alameda County, 24-hour Crisis-line (all ages)



National Suicide Prevention, 24-hour hotline (all ages)

  • 1-800-SUICIDE


Berkeley Mobile Crisis Team

Provides mobile crisis response for Berkeley and Albany residents.  Operates seven days per week 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.EXCEPT on Tuesday the hours are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.




ACCESS Program (Acute Crisis Care and Evaluation for System-wide Service)

This is the number to call to be referred to all county mental health services.  Open to all Alameda county residents.  Offers services in Spanish and in 8 Asian languages.



If your loved one is not willing to seek help, but is

  • a danger to themselves or
  • a danger to others or
  • gravely disabled because of a mental health issue


They may qualify for a “5150” (72-hour involuntary psychiatric hold and evaluation)

If this is the case:

  • call 911 and tell them it’s a psychiatric emergency or
  • call the Berkeley Mobile Crisis Team or Crisis Response (program numbers listed above)


To learn more about 5150 click here to view an information sheet about involuntary holds.

If the person is NOT in crisis and wants help

  • If they have private medical insurance, call the insurance company and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist or a therapist
  • If they have Medi-Cal, Medi-Care or do not have any insurance, Alameda County Residents may call the ACCESS Program (Acute Crisis Care and Evaluation for System-wide Services) 1-800-491-9099 for referrals to a therapist, psychiatrist or other mental health resources


Psychiatric Facilities in Alameda County for children under 18

Children’s Hospital (Oakland)

Emergency crisis response for children younger than 12.  Children should be taken to Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital. The BERT (Behavioral Emergency Response Team) will assess the child and decide whether it is safe for the child to return home or be admitted into an inpatient hospital.  Child can arrive by ambulance or (if safe) be brought in by parents or guardians

  • 510-428-3000


Willow Rock Psychiatric Inpatient Facility (San Leandro)

Provides acute psychiatric inpatient services for adolescents ages 12-18. Accepts Medi-Cal.  Voluntary or involuntary.

  • 510-895-5502


Herrick Hospital (Berkeley)

Inpatient services for adults and adolescents 12-18 (mental health, dual diagnosis, eating disorders).  Accepts Medi-Cal. Voluntary and involuntary services. Call for admission information.

  • 510-204-4405


Fremont Hospital (Fremont)

Inpatient services for adolescents 12-18 and adults. Private Hospital.  No Emergency Room.  Call for appointment or crisis intervention. Medi-Cal and private insurance.  Voluntary and involuntary services.

  • 510-796-1100


Children and Youth Hotlines:

California Youth Crisis Line 800-843-5200

Children in immediate risk or danger 800-843-5678

Covenant House Nineline 800-999-9999

Kid Help 800-543-7283

National Youth Crisis Hotline 800-448-4663

Youth Crisis Hotline information and referral for youth in crisis 800-448-4663

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