First 24/7 crisis hotline established in Harford County

Posted at 12:24 PM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 12:24:04-04

If you live in Harford County there is now a hotline that you can call for help at any time of the day or night. 

800-NEXT-STEP (800-639-8783) is a 24/7 hotline now available for anyone who needs behavioral or mental health as well as addiction services. The hotline is operated by health professionals who can help navigate the often complex and complicated system of care. 

"Many of us in the health care community in Harford County have been discussing the need for a 24-hour hotline to help those in crisis," said Lyle E. Sheldon, FACHE, president and CEO of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. "The hotline is a way for individuals to find help in one convenient location. Many people with behavioral health issues come to the emergency room because they don't know where else to go to seek help. The new hotline will provide the information they need in a timely manner."

When you call the hotline you will be connected to a behavioral health expert who has access to a Mobile Crisis Team and the most up-to-date information about specific providers you might need to speak with. Peer specialists who are in recovery themselves will also be available. 

"800-NEXT STEP helps us increase behavioral health awareness and break down the stigma associated with mental health and addiction," said Jessica Kraus, executive director of the Office on Mental Health/Core Service Agency of Harford County, Inc. "Our partnership and collaboration with other agencies is a role model for Maryland and helps all of us address pressing needs facing the Harford County community."  

The hotline is located at the Harford Crisis Center in Bel Air and will be open to the public in 2019. More information on the crisis center will be available in later October.