Crisis Services & Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. Available worldwide in 105 languages.

How to Help a USF Student in Crisis

USF's Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) and Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) are still here to assist with students in crisis while the university is operating remotely.  We are also available to provide advice to those concerned about USF students.

  • Name

  • USF ID #

  • Current physical location

  • Contact info for someone nearby who can help

During Business Hours:

  • California-Residing Students: Call CAPS Office (415-422-6352) to make a crisis appointment the same day.
  • Students Outside of California: Call CAPS Office (415-422-6352) to make a consultation appointment. We will assist in finding local referrals. 
  • Faculty/Staff/Friends/Family: File a red folder report with the Dean of Students Office or call them (415-422-5330).  You can also call CAPS to get advice from a therapist.

Outside of Business Hours:

  • Students: Call CAPS All Hours 24/7 (855-531-0761) to speak with a therapist immediately.
  • Faculty/Staff/Friends/Family: File a red folder report with the Dean of Students office or call CAPS All Hours 24/7 (855-531-0761) for advice from a therapist.
  • CAPS is available for consultation appointments and workshops, regardless of student’s geographical location.  CAPS can provide phone or video therapy for students located in California.  

  • Dean of Students office can assist students who live outside of California to link with a therapist.

  • If the student is at immediate risk of harming themselves or others, or is experiencing psychosis, ask them to have someone nearby who can help take them to the nearest emergency room or call 911.  You could also call USF Public Safety 24/7 (415-422-2911) as they can contact local emergency services and student’s emergency contact.

About Crisis Services

Registered USF students experiencing a psychological emergency may call CAPS during business hours (Mon–Fri, 8:30 am–5 pm) to request a crisis appointment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, crisis appointments are held via phone or video conferencing. This is similar to going to the ER for a medical emergency. Students in crisis will be seen the same day, typically within an hour or two. See the chart below for what constitutes a crisis.

If you are concerned about a USF student who may be in crisis, you may call our number, (415) 422-6352, to consult about the situation during business hours or call our All Hours number on evenings, weekends, or holidays at (855) 531-0761.  Elsewhere on our website, we provide additional information for faculty and staff about supporting students and when to refer them to CAPS.

During a crisis appointment, a CAPS counselor will assess the situation and collaboratively make a plan for the student to get help (frequently involving services in the community).

The following chart helps distinguish crises from non-crisis situations. If a student needs CAPS services but is not in crisis, we will attempt to set up a non-crisis appointment as soon as possible, but same-day meetings cannot be guaranteed.

Student Is in IMMEDIATE Danger Student Is NOT IN IMMEDIATE Danger
  • HAS CURRENT INTENTION AND/OR PLAN to attempt suicide or to inflict bodily harm on someone else
  • WITHIN THE PAST 4 WEEKS tried to kill themselves or seriously harm someone else
  • WITHIN THE PAST 4 WEEKS was released from an inpatient psychiatric facility
  • WITHIN THE PAST WEEK slept 4 hours or less 2+ nights in a row without feeling tired afterward
  • WITHIN THE PAST 2 WEEKS has been seeing or hearing things others do not, while sober
  • WITHIN THE PAST 2 WEEKS experienced physical, sexual, or other type of severe trauma
  • WITHIN THE PAST 2 WEEKS experienced the death of a loved one
  • CURRENT racing heart rate, difficulty breathing, AND intense feeling of impending doom
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Self-injury (without intention to die)
  • Problems with alcohol or other drugs
  • Adjustment difficulties
  • Relationship break-up
  • Eating or body image concerns
  • Self-esteem
  • Academic distress
  • Relationship concerns (family, partner, friends, classmates, advisers)
  • Struggles in making life decisions
  • Impact of discrimination/harassment
  • Past experiences of trauma
  • Crisis Text Line: 24-hour crisis counseling by trained peer counselors via text message or Facebook Messenger. In the U.S. or Canada, text HOME to 741741. People of color wishing to text with a counselor of color can text STEVE to 741741. In the U.K., text SHOUT to 85258; in Ireland, text HELLO to 50808. To use Messenger, visit the website and click the Messenger link.
  • Hospital Emergency Departments: If you cannot keep yourself safe due to a mental health crisis, go to one of the hospital emergency departments in the linked list for help.
  • IMAlive: Live online network that uses instant messaging to respond to people in crisis. Go to and click on the "Chat" button at upper right to begin messaging with a trained volunteer counselor.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255); 24-hour free and confidential support for people in distress and prevention and resources for people in crisis or their loved ones. The Lifeline is made up of a national network of more than 150 local crisis centers.
  • SF Women Against Rape: (415) 647-7273; 24-hour hotline that provides support, information, and resources for survivors of rape and sexual assault and their friends, family members, and others. Assists survivors of all genders and sexual identities.
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health Behavioral Health Services 24/7 Access Helpline: (415) 255-3737 or (888) 246-3333; 24-hour phone crisis support and assistance arranging to see a counselor within 48 hours for San Francisco residents.
  • San Francisco Suicide Prevention Hotline: (415) 781-0500; 24-hour phone counseling and referrals for people who are depressed and suicidal. Translation services available.
  • The Trevor Project: (866) 488-7386; 24/7 suicide prevention resources for LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 24; to text with a counselor 24/7, text START to 678678. From the Trever Project website, you can also chat with a counselor.
  • USF Public Safety: Call (415) 422-2911 or extension 2911 from an on-campus landline when your safety or someone else's is at risk or you need other assistance from a USF Public Safety officer. Call 911 for local police.
  • Westside Community Crisis Clinic: (415) 355-0311; drop-in mental health crisis care and and referrals at 1153 Oak Street, San Francisco for low-income San Francisco residents 18 and older. Open Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Crisis Clinic is designed to stabilize those in crisis and refer them to an appropriate source for follow-up treatment.
  • 免費心理急助熱線(提供中文服務): 415-781-0500
  • 普通话服务的心理急助单位.pdf

If you do not feel suicidal but just need someone to talk to about mental health and personal concerns, you can call the Mental Health Association of San Francisco "Warm Line" at (855) 845-7415 or visit their website to chat with a trained volunteer counselor (Sundays 7 am–9 pm, Mondays–Fridays 7 am–11 pm, and Saturdays 7 am–3 pm).