EMERGENCY Resources for Students


When CAPS is open:
Monday - Thursday: 8 am to 6 pm
Friday: 8 am to 5 pm

  • Go to Olin Health Center at 463 E Circle Drive, CAPS is on the 3rd Floor
  • Inform staff at CAPS check-in that you have an urgent/crisis situation
  • Receive an in-person urgent screening assessment
  • No appointment needed

When CAPS is closed:

  • If you or another student/friend is in crisis and need to talk with someone, call CAPS at 517.355.8270 and press “1” when prompted. You will be connected to a confidential, free counselor that CAPS has contracted to work with you after hours to assist you with connecting to a variety of services on the MSU East Lansing Campus.
  • If you are unsure how much medication or alcohol someone has taken, and they are unable to communicate with you, call 9-1-1. Michigan Medical Amnesty protects you from legal charges for possession/use of substances in the event that you request emergency services to assist someone in danger of alcohol poisoning, overdose, etc.

If you believe your life is in imminent danger and you cannot keep yourself safe, or you or someone else has decided to seriously harm or kill yourself/themselves or someone else, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room. The nearest Emergency Room to MSU East Lansing campus: Sparrow Hospital, 1215 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing MI 48912. Phone: 517.364.1000 

An Urgent or Crisis Situation May Include:

  • Suicidal thoughts, intent, plan, and/or other risks of harm to yourself
  • Homicidal thoughts, intent, plan, and/or other risks of harm to others.
  • A traumatic event occurred recently (e.g., the survivor of a crime or natural disaster; sexual and/or physical assault).
  • Someone close to you has recently died.
  • Perceptual disturbances such as hearing things or seeing things that others do not hear or see.
  • Feeling persistently unsafe, a sense of impending doom or danger, or that something or someone wants to hurt you or is out to get you.
  • Currently living without food, clothing, and/or shelter.
  • Unable to care for yourself, such as not eating or sleeping for several days. 
  • Having withdrawal symptoms from drugs or alcohol (call 9-1-1 for medical assistance).
  • Experiencing uncontrollable panic and unable to calm down.  

What to expect in an urgent screening assessment:

If you present in crisis during business hours, you will be asked to fill out paperwork prior to meeting with a counselor.  Please note that CAPS staff will do their best to meet with you as soon as possible. However, due to other clinical demands in CAPS at the time of your arrival, you may be asked to wait until a crisis provider is available.

When meeting with a crisis provider, they will:

  • Ask questions to understand your situation, and to assess your safety and ability to cope
  • Help you to regulate your emotions and calm yourself
  • Explain confidentiality as it relates to the crisis
  • Assist you in making a plan to address your concerns

A provider may also:

  • Offer additional service options such as resources within CAPS, referrals elsewhere on campus or to an agency off-campus depending on your needs and availability of services
  • Contact police and/or medical professionals to assist you or others. This may take place without your consent if the crisis situation warrants and falls under the limits of confidentiality as mandated by the State of Michigan.  

Click here for Student Rights when Admitted or Discharged from a Psychiatric Hospital or Unit

Additional Crisis & Prevention Resources

  • Phone & Hotline Resources
    1. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in a suicidal crisis or emotional distress. By calling 1.800.273.TALK (8255) you will be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7. Hearing-impaired TTY users may dial (800) 799-4889.  
    1. The Trevor Lifeline is the nation’s only around-the-clock crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Call 1.866.488.7386. [Note: the lifeline will talk with any individual regardless of sexuality or gender.] 
    1. The Boys Town National Hotline is an anonymous, free 24-hour helpline intended for pre-teens, teens, and young adults. If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or you are being abused, please call 1.800.448.3000. Counselors are ready for your call 24/7. 
    1. The Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN) is a free, confidential, and secure crisis hotline available 24/7 for victims of sexual assault or violence as well as their families and friends. Call 1.800-656.HOPE (4673)
    1. Vets4Warriors is for anyone currently serving in the military, veterans, and their families/caregivers. It is a confidential and anonymous hotline available 24/7 to receive personalized peer support by a veteran. Call 1.855.838.8255. 
    1. SAMHSA’s National Helpline: also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service, this Helpline provides 24-hour free and confidential treatment referral and information about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention, and recovery in English and Spanish. Call 1.800.662.HELP (4357). 


    MSU Resources 

    • 24-hour Sexual Assault Crisis Line call 517.372.6666; trained volunteers from MSU Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention Program will respond and provide advocacy to survivors of sexual violence. The group works with the MSU Center for Survivors to provide support, empathy, and information to survivors of gendered violence. SACI delivers assistance to those who have been traumatized by sexual assault and coordinates programs that focus on awareness and prevention.
    • For medication questions/concerns, students can call the 24 Hour Olin Health Center Nurse Line: 517.353.5557 
    • MSU Safe Place provides advocacy, emergency shelter, counseling, support groups, safety planning, information and referrals to survivors of violence and their minor children. All support services are free and confidential.  MSU Safe Place serves students, faculty, staff, their spouses/partners and non-affiliated members in the Greater Lansing Area. Call 517.355.1100 or access safeplace.msu.edu
  • Online Chat Options
    1. Lifeline Crisis Chat go to crisischat.org and click on “Chat Now”  
      Available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the chat is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week within the United States and territories. 
    2. TrevorChat go to thetrevorproject.org/get-help-now
      Free, confidential, and secure online chat provides live help by trained volunteers. Available 24/7/365. Designed to be used with a computer. If you prefer a smartphone, call or use Trevor Text. 
    1. National Sexual Assault Online Hotline go to hotline.rainn.org/online
      Chat online with a trained staff member who can provide confidential crisis support. 
    1. Vets4Warriors go to www.vets4warriors.com/ and click on Chat at the bottom of the page. For anyone currently serving in the military, veterans, and their families/caregivers. It is confidential, anonymous, and available 24/7 to receive personalized peer support by a veteran. 
  • Text Support
    1. Text START to 741-741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis. The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information via texting. A live, trained crisis counseling volunteer receives the text and responds quickly. 
    1. Trevor Text: text START to 678678 anytime 24/7. Crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. 
  • Online Resources


  • Creating A Safety Plan
    Step 1: Warning Signs - Be aware of thoughts, images, mood, situation, behavior that indicate a crisis may be developing.
    Step 2: Internal Coping Strategies - Things you can do to take your attention and mind off your crisis without contacting another person. Examples include relaxation techniques, physical activity, listening to music and mindful techniques (free guided meditation is available at http://marc.ucla.edu/mindful-meditations
    Step 3: People and Social Settings that Provide Distraction - Seek them out if you cannot manage your stress while alone.
    Step 4: People Whom You Can Ask for Help - Seek them out if you need help managing the crisis, or assistance in putting your plan into action.
    Step 5:  Ways to Make Your Environment Safe - Examples include preventing access to firearms and weapons, throwing sharp objects away, pouring out/throwing away substances, asking a friend to keep dangerous items in a difficult-to-access location.
    Step 6: Professionals and Agencies - List who you can contact before/during a crisis.
    Step 7: List the things most important to you that are worth living for in your life.