Crisis Assistance

For Emergencies or a Life-Threatening Situation: Call 911

Crisis Assistance
Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) operates on an appointment basis; however, we recognize that students may experience a crisis situation that warrants urgent attention. If you are experiencing emotional or psychological distress and are unsure if your distress warrants immediate crisis assistance, please reference the examples below. Whether CAPS is open or closed, help is available to you 24 hours a day. Concerned about someone else? Staff, faculty, friends, and family can call us for consultation or assistance regarding a UCSC student in distress. For faculty and staff who wish to identify and intervene with students who are in distress, please see the resources on responding to distressed students in the "For Staff & Faculty" section at the bottom of our home page. Family and other loved ones can serve as critical resources to students in distress. If you are concerned about your UCSC student, please read our Frequently Asked Questions for Parents/Familypage for tips and information on resources. 

Examples of immediate crisis situations:
  • You are having thoughts of physically harming yourself or someone else.
  • You are having odd or disturbing experiences, such as hearing voices or seeing things that others do not see or hear.
  • You experienced a physical or sexual assault within the last few days.
  • You or someone you care about is being physically hurt or abused, or someone is threatening to hurt you or someone else.
  • You are having difficulties coping with the death of someone who died recently.
  • You believe you are having an adverse reaction to a psychological medication prescribed by CAPS (although if your health or life is in imminent danger, call 911 or visit an urgent care facility or emergency room).
  • You are having a crisis related to your drug or alcohol use (although if your health or life is in imminent danger, call 911 or visit an urgent care facility or emergency room).
  • In the past few days, due to a serious mental health issue, you have lost the ability to take care of your basic needs (e.g., feeding yourself).
  • A UCSC student you know is experiencing one of the situations listed here and you aren't sure what to do about it (although if the student's health or life is in imminent danger, call 911).

On-Campus Resources:

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at UCSC

(831) 459-2628  -  24-Hour Hotline (For after-hours support, select option "3.")

CAPS is open Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

After business hours, during weekends and on holidays, telephone crisis assessment, safety planning, and referrals for UCSC students are available by calling (831) 459-2628 and selecting option “3.” This service can provide immediate consultation and support by phone regarding a variety of crisis issues and can facilitate the transition to CAPS daytime services.

UCSC – CARE Program

The UCSC CARE Program was created to promote early intervention with students of concern to prevent culminating problems from escalating into a crisis.  The goal of the CARE Program is to identify students of concern and develop an action plan focusing on retention through provision of support and resources. While the CARE Program does not provide counseling directly to students, they work very closely with Counseling and Psychological Services to get students the emotional and psychological support they need.
** Please note that the CARE Team is not available for immediate crises.

UCSC Police Department (non-emergencies):

Call (831) 459-2231  -  24-Hour Hotline

Off-Campus (Santa Cruz County) Resouces:

Walnut Avenue Women's Center

Assistance for Domestic Violence and Crisis.

The Women’s Center has full-time and volunteer advocates available to support victims of domestic violence. Our advocates are trained and certified DV counselors and can meet you where you are, responding to the needs you wish to have met. We offer a safe space for women and children to talk about the challenges and barriers that impact their lives.

(866) 2MY-ALLY or (866) 269-2559  -  24-Hour Bilingual Hotline 

Suicide Prevention Service of the Central Coast

If you are a resident of Monterey, Santa Cruz, or San Benito Counties, call the 24-hour toll free, multilingual suicide crisis line. Callers will talk to someone who is compassionate, supportive, and accepting of anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts or a general life crisis.

(877) 663-5433 or (877) ONE-LIFE  -  24-Hour toll-free Suicide Crisis Line 

Off-Campus (National) Resources:

Trans Lifeline

Trans Lifeline is a non-profit dedicated to the well being of transgender people. They run a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Trans Lifeline volunteers are ready to respond to whatever support needs members of our community might have.

(877) 565-8860  -  For their hours of availability, click here.

** Please note, the hours listed on the Trans Lifeline website are in Eastern Time (US & Canada)

The Trevor Project

The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

Trevor Lifeline 

LGBTQ Youth Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention

Call (866) 488-7386

24-Hour Hotline, available 7 days a week


LGBTQ Suicide Prevention Counselors available to talk via text message

Available Fridays (1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. PT). Text the word “Trevor” to (202) 304-1200. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1 (800) 656-HOPE. This nationwide partnership of more than 1,100 local rape treatment hotlines provides victims of sexual assault with free, confidential services around the clock. The hotline helped 137,039 sexual assault victims in 2005 and has helped more than 1.5 million since it began in 1994.

(800) 656-4673 or (800) 656-HOPE  -  24- Hour, Free and Confidential Hotline

National Sexual Assault Online Hotline - 24- Hour, Free and Confidential Instant Messaging Service

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Highly trained expert advocates are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.

(800) 799-7233 or (800) 799-SAFE

(800) 787-3224 [TTY]

Online live chat services are available Monday to Friday, 7AM—5PM PST.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline//Red Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio

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. Since its inception, the Lifeline has engaged in a variety of initiatives to improve crisis services and advance suicide prevention.

(800) 273-8255 or (800) 273-TALK  -  24-Hour

(888) 628-9454 (Ayuda en Español)  -  24-Hour