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Publicly Supported Telephone Numbers for People In Crisis, In a

Stressful Condition, or In Need of Serious But Less Urgent Help

Primary Public Response Numbers for Stressful Conditions

The best known, operational public numbers for people in stress — but not rising to the status of an emergency — are:


  • 734-994-2911, Non-Emergency Dispatch, Ann Arbor Police Department (and also Non-Emergency Dispatch for the County Sheriff's Office) — This number should be used when the “situation is a valid police matter but does not require immediate attention” (Source).  The following are examples drawn from the same source.


  • Reporting a crime with no suspect (example: theft of a license plate or bicycle)

  • Reporting a crime with suspect, but the suspect is not on the scene (example: fraud)

  • Reporting a serious crime with suspect, but with a lengthy delay (example: assault that occurred “last night” at a bar)

  • Non-emergency in progress (example: noisy party)

  • On-going crime issues or crimes that are not in-progress (examples: graffiti or ongoing drug dealing with no suspect on scene)

  • A suspicious circumstance that may indicate an ongoing criminal activity (example: suspected drug lab)


This number serves a useful condition and should continue.


  • 734-544-3050, the 24/7 access line for all WCCMH services and questions — The person answering the call refers the caller to the appropriate person or agency based on a description of the caller’s circumstances.  As noted above, many people seeking an unarmed response find this number a comfortable place to start.


We support the continued use of 734-544-3050.  Because the number is long and not easily remembered, we are open to emphasizing 988 (see above) for crisis services when it is launched.


  • 211, the Help Line of United Way of Washtenaw County — This line is “… available 24/7, and provides information about health and human services resources available. … Whether you are looking for medical help, foreclosure prevention programs, utility assistance, help with food or clothing, or any other challenge facing your family, a call to … 2-1-1 may provide the answers you are looking for. Dial 9-1-1 for emergency calls.” (Source)


This number serves a very useful purpose.  Our opinion is that it should be publicized more, and the City and County should be prepared to provide more resources to serve callers.


  • 800-273-8255 a.k.a. 800-273-TALK, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available 24/7 nationwide — This number is available to anyone in distress and not just to those with suicidal thoughts.  See the discussion of the Lifeline number in the ”Emergency Response Numbers“ section above for a fuller discussion.


  • 888-733-7753 a.k.a. 888-PEER-753, the Michigan Warmline — This line serves all of Michigan.  It operates 10 am - 2 am seven days a week.  “The warmline will be operated by Certified Peer Support Specialists. Individuals calling the warmline will be provided with support by peers who have their own lived experience with mental health issues. They will be providing wellness supports and a listening ear.” (Source)


While this service is useful, we would prefer 734-544-3050 and the forthcoming 988 be emphasized rather than 888-733-7753.  A proliferation of numbers serving overlapping functions is likely to be confusing rather than helpful.  We, of course, have no problem with someone calling 888-733-7753 to access its services.  However, in the public campaign we prefer to emphasize 734-544-3050 and 988.  Callers from Washtenaw County who call 888-733-7753 would ideally be transferred to 734-544-3050 without having to hang up and dial.


The City of Ann Arbor is contemplating the creation of one or more response numbers to serve people in distress, as noted above.  Our conclusion remains the same in the context of helping people in distress but short of an emergency requiring an immediate response.  We do not see a need for additional response numbers.  The City could make a positive contribution by assisting the County and others to provide the services needed in response to calls of people in stressful conditions.

Click here to go to the "Introduction" of this section on crisis and help telephone numbers

Click here to go to "Primary Public Emergency Response Numbers"

Click here to go to "Other Response Numbers and Especially Those of Nonprofits"

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