Need help now?

This page will help you determine the best option for you.

  1. If it is during business hours and you are in crisis, please stop by BTE 1867 or call our direct line at 805-437-2088 to make an urgent care appointment.
    • Urgent care appointments are available Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • Please let front desk staff know you need to be seen the same day.
  2. If it is during or after business hours and you’ve reached the CAPS voicemail by dialing 805-437-2088, and you would like to speak to a clinician immediately, please press 2.
  3. You can call our 24/7 line at 855-854-1747 for crisis support at any time to speak to a clinician immediately.
  4. If you would like to speak to a clinician immediately, you can call or text "Hello" to our National Support Line at 988. Students of color can text “Steve” to 988.
  5. If this is an immediate/life threatening emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care.

Other Crisis Hotlines

  • If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988.
  • 24/7 bilingual sexual assault support (Coalition for Family Harmony): 800-300-2181
  • Ventura County Behavioral Health Crisis and Referral Line: 866-998-2243
  • National Suicide Hotline: 800-784-2433 or 800-273-8255
  • Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860

Crisis Appointment

Students are recommended for a crisis appointment under the following circumstances:

  1. Recent or current thoughts of harming yourself
  2. Recent or current thoughts of harming someone else
  3. Recent trauma (e.g., physical or sexual assault)
  4. Hearing or seeing things that others do not
  5. While these are examples of reasons for an urgent counseling appointment, we want to leave this decision up to you. You may define your own crisis.

Crisis can be defined as one’s perception or experience of an event or situation as an intolerable difficulty that exceeds the person’s current resources and coping mechanisms.

  • A crisis can refer to any situation in which the individual perceives a sudden loss of his or her ability to use effective problem-solving and coping skills.
  • A number of events or circumstances can be considered a crisis: life-threatening situations, such as natural disasters (such as an earthquake or tornado), sexual assault or other criminal victimization; medical illness; mental illness; thoughts of suicide or homicide; and loss or drastic changes in relationships (death of a loved one or divorce, for example).
  • Crisis intervention is the urgent and temporary care given to an individual in order to interrupt the downward spiral of maladaptive behavior and return the individual to their usual level of pre-crisis functioning.
  • Crisis intervention also refers to the methods used to offer immediate, short-term help to individuals who experience an event that produces emotional, mental, physical, and behavioral distress or problems.


Crisis intervention has several purposes. It aims to:

  • Reduce the intensity of an individual's emotional, mental, physical and behavioral reactions to a crisis.
  • Help individuals return to their level of functioning before the crisis.
  • Improve functioning above and beyond this by developing new coping skills and eliminating ineffective ways of coping, such as withdrawal, isolation, and substance abuse.
  • Assist individual in coping with future difficulties more effectively.

Crisis intervention aims to assist the individual in recovering from the crisis and to prevent serious long-term problems from developing. We do this by talking about what happened and the feelings about the situation, while developing ways to cope and solve problems. Research documents positive outcomes for crisis intervention, such as decreased distress and improved problem solving.

Quick Coping Strategies

Mindfulness and Meditation

Research has shown mindfulness to be effective against anxiety and depression. It can help reduce stress and helps the mind focus on the present moment without criticism or judgment. Please visit our Resources for Students page for more information.

Grounding with the Five Senses

Grounding is a quick and effective way to reduce the intensity of emotions. Use the five senses to soothe, comfort, and reset.

Try this exercise to identify:

  • 5 things that you see
  • 4 things that you touch
  • 3 things you hear
  • 2 things you smell or like to smell
  • 1 thing you taste (alternatively, you can identify 1 thing you like about yourself if tasting is not readily available)

Breathing Exercises

When we become stressed, we tend to breathe shallowly from our chest. Deep breathing from your belly increases the oxygen in your body, to your brain, and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of physical and emotional calmness.

Try this exercise:

  • Inhale deep and slowly for 5 seconds
  • Exhale completely for 5 seconds
  • Repeat as many times as you need
  • You may use this breathing bubble video to help you count your breaths
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