The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
Who Should Contact the Disaster Distress Helpline?
This crisis support service is for anyone experiencing emotional distress related to disasters such as:
The Disaster Distress Helpline also answers calls and texts related to infectious disease outbreaks, such as the Ebola outbreak, incidents of community unrest, and other traumatic events.
The impact of crises may affect people in different ways. Learn how to recognize the warning signs and risk factors for emotional distress related to natural and human-caused disasters.
The Disaster Distress Helpline is open to everyone. This includes survivors of disasters; loved ones of victims; first responders; rescue, recovery, and relief workers; clergy; and parents and caregivers. You may call for yourself or on behalf of someone else.
Call or Text
From the United States and its territories, call 1-800-985-5990 to connect with a trained crisis counselor, 24/7. Spanish-speakers can call the hotline and press “2” for 24/7 bilingual support.
Callers to the hotline can also connect with counselors in over 100 other languages via 3rd-party interpretation services; to connect with a counselor in your primary language, simply indicate your preferred language to the responding counselor and she/he will connect to a live interpreter (interpretation in less commonly-spoken languages may require calling back at an appointed time). Learn more and download information about the Disaster Distress Helpline in 30 of the most commonly-spoken languages in the U.S.
To connect with a live DDH crisis counselor 24/7 via SMS, from the 50 states text “TalkWithUs” for English or “Hablanos” for Spanish to 66746. Spanish-speakers from Puerto Rico can text “Hablanos” to 1-787-339-2663.
Texting is subscription-based and only involves a few steps:
- Enroll in the service by texting TalkWithUs or Hablanos exactly as written. It’s important to do this before sending your first text message because otherwise the enrollment may fail, and you will not be able to speak with a counselor, or you may accidentally subscribe to another service.
- Look for confirmation that your subscription was successful. You will receive a Success! message if it was.
- To unsubscribe, text Stop or Unsubscribe to 66746 (or 1-787-339-2663 from Puerto Rico) at any time. For help, text Help to 66746 (or 1-787-339-2663 from Puerto Rico).
Standard text and data message rates will apply when texting from mobile phones. International text and data rates may apply from within U.S. territories and free association nations. SAMHSA will not sell your phone numbers to other parties.
The Disaster Distress Helpline’s TTY number 1-800-846-8517 is available 24/7 to Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, who can also utilize the texting options or their preferred Relay service (including 7-1-1) to connect with the main DDH hotline 1-800-985-5990, 24/7.
DDH Online Peer Support Communities
In an effort to broaden our reach to disaster survivors and emergency responders, the Disaster Distress Helpline has developed online peer support communities through Facebook Groups for those who have experienced a natural or human-caused disaster. These online communities offer opportunities for survivors and responders to connect with others who have experienced similar events, share accurate information and trusted resources, and help one another continue to heal from the effects of a traumatic event.
What Does it Offer?
The purpose of DDH Online Peer Support Communities is to create enhanced opportunities for survivors and responders of disaster to come together for mutual aid and emotional support.
DDH Online Peer Support Communities Also Include:
Trained Peer Supporters
DDH Online Peer Support includes trained peer supporters who assist with group moderation and vetting resources. In addition to community forums, our goal is also to create purposeful discussions lead by peer supporters with specific themes and relevant topics. While each survivor and responder’s experiences are unique, being with peers who have had a similar experience can promote connection, offer new ways of coping, and build a foundation of trust.
Peer support does not take the place of therapy or counseling. The opportunity to provide mutual aid and support to others who have faced similar challenges, when and where they need it, offers hope that healing and recovery is possible after a disaster.
Immediate Crisis Support
All DDH Online Peer Support Communities are monitored 24/7 by a designated DDH crisis center where crisis counselors are available to talk to members who may be in emotional distress and need crisis support. Members can talk to a counselor at any time of the day or night via Crisis Support Over Messenger (CSOM).
Survivors and Responders of the COVID-19 Pandemic
DDH Online Peer Support Communities offer peer support for anyone who identifies as a survivor or responder of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both survivors and responders can come together for mutual aid, to share trusted resources, and to help one another continue to heal from the effects of a national pandemic. Survivors and responders may include but are not limited to, any healthcare workers, emergency responders, parents/caregivers, educators, individuals who have lost loved ones, people who are dealing with “Long-haul COVID”, those impacted by job loss or economic hardship during the pandemic, and anyone else who has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. DDH-trained Peer Supporters are also available to listen and offer validation and encouragement. Additionally, they provide structured moderation within the community to engage members in meaningful discussions on relevant topics and offer timely and trusted resources. To join our Facebook group dedicated to Survivors and Responders of the COVID-19 Pandemic, click here.
Survivors of Mass Violence
DDH Online Peer Support Communities offer peer support for survivors of mass violence in the United States including mass shootings, terrorist attacks, or other large-scale community violence. Survivors and loved ones who have experienced mass violence can connect with one another and provide emotional support in the aftermath of a mass violence incident, including how to cope with activating events and memorials, self-care strategies, and challenges with daily living. DDH-trained Peer Supporters are available to listen to members, and offer validation and encouragement. They also provide structured moderation to engage members in meaningful discussions on relevant topics and provide timely and trusted resources. If you are a survivor or the loved one of a survivor of mass violence and need support, please join our Facebook group by requesting to be a member here.
If you’re not in immediate need of crisis counseling support and would like to contact us for other reasons, send an email. Contact us for:
- Technical problems. If you encountered a technical problem while trying to contact the Disaster Distress Helpline, please include your name and preferred contact information in your email if you wish to receive a reply.
- Provider inquiries. Providers with specific inquiries about technical assistance and support, requests for materials, and exploring collaborations are encouraged to send an email.
- Feedback. To provide feedback about your experience reaching out to the Disaster Distress Helpline, send an email describing your experience and SAMHSA will look into the matter. Please include your name and preferred contact information if you wish to receive a reply.
- Social media inquiries. Email us with questions about the Disaster Distress Helpline’s use of social media.
- All media inquiries. Members of the media with questions about the Disaster Distress Helpline are encouraged to call the SAMHSA Media Services Team at 1-240-276-2130.
Our staff appreciate hearing from people about their experiences. SAMHSA takes feedback about our services, whether it is positive or negative, very seriously.
SAMHSA also encourages public promotion of the Disaster Distress Helpline. Anyone can use the Disaster Distress Helpline logo and telephone number on their website and link to the Disaster Distress Helpline’s materials and social media properties.
Call 211 for information about disaster-related evacuations, shelters, food and clothing distribution, volunteer opportunities, and other resources and referrals. Or visit the national 211 Call Center Search website to find the 211 information and referral center nearest you.