New Michigan Crisis Helpline Offers 24/7 Support for Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder Needs 

by Amy Barczy

| 3 min read

Young man looks at his phone
Asking for help in a moment of crisis isn’t easy – but the state of Michigan is working to offer a more direct way to seek help. This month the state launched a new crisis and access helpline in Oakland County and the Upper Peninsula, with the intention of extending the service to all of Michigan by 2022. It’s called the Michigan Crisis and Access Helpline – or MiCAL.
  • Reach MiCAL by phone or text, 24/7, at 844-44MICAL (844-446-4225). Chat is available at This service is currently available to residents of Oakland County and the Upper Peninsula.
The helpline offers behavioral health crisis triage, suicide prevention, support, resources and referrals to local services for both mental health and substance use disorder. Both people in need, concerned friends and family members and assisting professionals are welcome to use the helpline. The helpline is free to all. “We are excited to expand access for behavioral health care to Michiganders in Oakland County and the Upper Peninsula, and are looking forward to expanding statewide in 2022,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “All Michiganders deserve support and help, and we are here to make it as simple and accessible as possible for them.” MiCAL is operated by Common Ground, a 24-hour crisis services agency dedicated to helping youths, adults, and families in crisis. Behavioral health resources are more needed than ever, as disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted our lives in significant ways. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic:
  • 45% of adults in the U.S. reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus
  • 13% of adults reported new or increased substance use
  • The prevalence of depressive disorder was approximately four times higher than reported in the second quarter of 2019
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network can help members find an in-network mental health professional by calling behavioral health access lines listed below:

PPO: Behavioral Health Access Line | 1-800-762-2382

  • A free and confidential resource that’s just a call away when you need immediate support. Behavioral health professionals answer, 24/7.

HMO: Behavioral Health Access Line | 1-800-482-5982

  • Connect with a behavioral health clinician if you need help finding a mental health or substance use provider.
  • Behavioral health clinicians are available for routine assistance from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For urgent concerns after hours, clinicians are also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Crisis Assistance:

  • If you feel that your condition is an emergency that’s not life threatening, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for support at 1-800-273-8255.
  • If your situation requires immediate emergency help to prevent death or serious harm to yourself or others, please seek help at the nearest emergency room or call 911.
Learn more about mental health and options you have as a member to seek help at Photo credit: damircudic

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