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Crisis Intervention


Call or Text 911 (ask for a CIT officer) or go to your nearest hospital emergency room if you can get there safely.


When personal issues worsen beyond the normal challenges of daily life, crises can occur that negatively impact individuals, families, neighborhoods and ultimately the community. Rather than solely responding to situations already at crisis levels, law enforcement works to help members of the community learn to cope with their challenges before they develop into problems that require outside intervention.

Though crises affect people of all ages and circumstances, certain demographics face unique challenges, including children, teenagers, women and seniors. Fortunately, there are practices everyone can exercise to help cope with the difficulties of life. And many resources exist within the community to serve individuals and families who need outside help.

The Pacifica Police Department has compiled a directory of city and county resources to help individuals avoid potential crises or deal with an existing crisis. Download and print the below file or come into the police station to pick up a copy from the literature rack in the lobby. Also, the San Mateo County Human Services Agency has compiled a Community Information Handbook that contains many useful resources.

Mental Health Resources

Assisted Out Patient Treatment (AOT) through San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), operated by Caminar, services adult residents and their families to provide intensive mental health and substance abuse services for those who have previously refused treatment.  (650) 372-6125 or email AOT@smcgov.org

Family Assertive Support Team (FAST) through BHRS provides in-home outreach for adult residents, and their families who are experiencing severe mental health issues. (650) 363-8125

San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) provides services for residents who are on Medi-Cal or are uninsured including children, youth, families, adults and older adults, for the prevention, early intervention, and treatment of mental illness and/or substance use conditions. BHRS Access Call Center (800) 686-0101.

Mills-Peninsula Medical Center Psychiatric Emergency Services: 650-696-5915

San Mateo Medical Center Psychiatric Emergency Services: 650-573-2662

National Alliance on Mental Illness San Mateo County advocating for persons with a major mental illness and their families on a county, state, and national level, the NAMI SMC office:

  • Staffed Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm.
  • Operates a “Warm Line”/Help Desk Support (650-638-0800) to respond to inquiries about how families can best help their loved ones as well as how individuals with their own diagnosis can best help themselves.
  • Maintains a lending library of books and DVDs about mental illness and produces and distributes ten monthly newsletters per year through the community and to its members and supporters.

San Mateo County Mental Health Assessment and Referral Team (SMART) since inception in 2005, AMR staffs S.M.A.R.T. with a specially training paramedic, who at the request of law enforcement,  may transport patients to Psych Emergency Services, a therapists office, substance abuse treatment facility, shelter or home.