Starting this upcoming semester, students experiencing mental health crises will be able to meet with a certified licensed mental health professional from USC Student Health who is also a clinical faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. This mental health professional will accompany Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers — who previously were the primary contact for mental health emergencies — to the student’s location. In appropriate cases the mental health care professional will lead the response team and speak to the student first.
The impetus for the program is to arrange for students in crisis — or potentially in crisis — to interact primarily with mental health clinicians rather than law enforcement, according to Steven Siegel, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
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If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, contact the National 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which is available to help 24 hours a day. Call or text 988 or use the chat feature at 988lifeline.org. For the chat, there will be a brief registration form with the option to use an alias.
You can also reach out to USC DPS at (213) 740-4321 (University Park Campus) or (323) 442-1000 (Health Sciences Campus).