Military Crisis Hotlines: How They Can Help

A person in crisis often needs immediate reassurance and support without having to figure out where to go for help or waiting for a counseling appointment. That's why a crisis hotline can be an essential resource for someone in emotional distress. With a single call or click of a mouse, he or she can talk or chat confidentially with a person trained to help people in crisis. Crisis counselors help those in crisis get a better understanding of the stressors they are facing and the steps they should take toward feeling better about their current situation or future outlook.

Military Crisis Line

Active-duty, Guard and reserve service members, their families and friends stateside and in Europe have 24/7 access to the Military Crisis Line at no cost. For crisis support in the U.S., call 800-273-8255; then press 1. Callers in Europe, dial 00800-1273-8255 or DSN 118. The toll-free service in Europe may not be available through all carriers or in all countries.

This Military Crisis Line, also called the Veterans Crisis Line, is a joint Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs initiative, staffed with caring, qualified responders who understand the challenges of military life. Many responders are veterans and service members themselves. Apart from calling the crisis line, those in crisis can chat online or text message (838255) with a crisis line responder. For more information, visit the Military Crisis Line website.

Crisis hotline for service members in Afghanistan

A confidential peer-support crisis hotline is also available in Afghanistan specifically for service members struggling with stress from battlefield experiences, relationship issues or other personal problems. Service members can access the Operation Enduring Freedom Crisis Hotline by:

  • Cell phone — Dial 070-113-2000. Wait for the tone, then press 111.
  • Defense Switched Network or Voice over Internet Protocol — Dial 111 or 318-421-8218.
  • Email — Send emails to

The Operation Enduring Freedom Crisis Hotline can also be found on Facebook at OEF Crisis Hotline.

When to call a crisis hotline

If you believe that you, a family member, a significant other or a friend is in crisis, know that there are resources available to support you and your loved ones. These crisis lines can provide immediate support and additional resources to help see you through to a more balanced and healthy outlook.


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