24 Hour Crisis Hotline
Alameda County:
Nationwide Hotline:
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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24-Hour Crisis Line


Crisis Support Services of Alameda County (CSS) was founded in 1966 on the humanistic idea that skilled intervention by non-professionals can help people in emotional crisis. Our crisis line reflects this commitment to volunteer service. In 2013-2014, 168 Crisis Line volunteers, 32 mental health interns and over a dozen staff responded to 65,849 calls, providing short-term intervention and referrals to callers struggling with a variety of life challenges.


To offer support to people of all ages and backgrounds during times of crisis, to work to prevent the suicide of those who are actively suicidal, and to offer hope and caring in times of hopelessness.


Trained crisis intervention counselors are available to receive crisis calls and give supportive counseling 24 hours a day, every day. Translation is available in more than 140 languages. We also offer teletype (TDD) services for deaf and hearing-impaired individuals.

extra1.gif Whom We Serve

Trained counselors provide easily assessible confidential counseling and referrals to anyone who calls.

Are you, or is someone dear to you, depressed? Lonely? In crisis? Feeling overwhelmed? Have you ever felt that life is not worth living? Crisis Support Services is here to help.

Calling our crisis lines and talking with one of our trained crisis intervention counselors is a way to receive support, gain relief, and increase availability of options - it's OK to ask for help.


Please click on link to go to the Support Groups page.


None. The crisis line is a toll-free call from anywhere in Alameda County.


24 Hour Crisis Line
Alameda County: 1-800-309-2131
Nationwide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

For more information, please visit our contact form.



Yes, we are seeking volunteers at this time.

As you take a moment to read this notice, hundreds of people in our community are struggling with thoughts of self-destruction and suicide.  You may know members of your community who have struggled with suicide and others who have been left behind after a suicide.

We are all touched by the pain and sometimes, desperation of those around us.  Yet, the power of healing and human resiliency is amazing - sometimes it can start when a person in distress calls our crisis lines.   Most of the work involves supportive communication with people who are struggling with difficult life transitions or situations. By donating 4 hours per week you can make a difference, learn new skills and be part of our team of caring, courageous volunteer crisis intervention telephone counselors. No previous experience necessary. Excellent training provided. For more information call our Volunteer Coordinator at 510-550-8240.

Crisis Line Counselor

Provide crisis counseling and community referrals on our 24 hour crisis line. No experience is necessary; we provide a comprehensive 90 hour training program. Crisis Counselors volunteer four hours per week for a minimum of one year and four months.

The Role

Crisis line counselors provide counseling and emotional support to people who are abused, depressed, grieving, suicidal, homeless, or mentally ill. Some volunteers have mental health backgrounds, but many don’t. Our 90 hour training program (five weekends of classroom instruction and sixteen weeks of one-on-one training with an experienced volunteer) teaches new volunteers everything they need to know.

The Commitment

All calls are answered in our Alameda County, CA offices. 

All crisis line counselors must successfully complete the training program by attending all the training classes and showing proficiency and competency in suicide assessment and building rapport with callers, and adherence to agency protocols and philosophy. After completing the training program we ask counselors to make a commitment of 52 shifts.

You can also contact us for additional information.

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