Iowans’ Benefit from Mobile Crisis Services Across the State

Imagine feeling like you’ve lost control of your brain health. Or brain health struggles have consumed you to the point that you don’t know how to communicate what you feel or need. You feel overwhelmed, powerless and unsure how to move forward. Without help, you may grapple with those concerns until they escalate into a brain health crisis.

Thanks to a new law, Iowans in every county will have access to mobile crisis services to receive immediate care during a crisis. Trained brain health experts can travel to an individual’s home, workplace or school to help.

Before the new mandate — which goes into effect on July 1, 2021 — the state strongly recommended that, but didn’t require, mobile crisis services to be available in each county. Lawmakers understand the importance for all Iowans to have access to immediate crisis care in the home, especially in rural Iowa where services may have been minimal in the past.

The biggest benefit of having mobile crisis services is that an individual’s problems may be resolved before they build into a possibly life-threatening scenario. While those in the midst of a physical or life-threatening situation should call 911 and receive immediate help from trained law enforcement officials, mobile crisis services professionals are able to provide support for individuals feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, lonely or experiencing any other brain health struggles.

Mobile crisis service professionals treat Iowans of all backgrounds and ages. It’s important to remember that a crisis may look and feel different to each individual. Just as your physical health needs are as unique to each body, your brain health needs are unique to your emotional and mental experiences. For instance, a person may feel extremely isolated, and providers can help them find ways to connect to their community. Another caregiver may need urgent help with their child who is facing brain health issues.

Because mobile crisis services teams travel to people in need, Iowans receive care in a familiar environment. Trained mobile crisis providers are best equipped to de-escalate brain health issues so individuals may be able to avoid being treated in a hospital in the immediate future where they could feel isolated, forgotten and even more anxious.

“With mobile crisis services, people are treated in a familiar environment. Response teams also arrive in an unmarked car so callers may be more comfortable asking for help.”


“It can be overwhelming for those in crisis to even make a phone call to receive services, let alone gather themselves enough to interact with others in public settings,” reflected Monica Van Horn, crisis services supervisor at Eyerly Ball Community Mental Health Services. “With mobile crisis services, people are treated in a familiar environment. Response teams also arrive in an unmarked car so callers may be more comfortable asking for help.”

So how do you seek help? Call the Your Life Iowa Crisis Line at 855-581-8111 or text 855-895-8398. The operator will simply ask for a brief description of the situation and a call-back number, and a team will respond within an hour. Many MHDS regions also provide 30 days of care coordination for free, during which brain health professionals will offer continued support and help connect the individual to other social services.

Receive Mobile Crisis Services

  1. Call the Mobile Crisis number for your region*
  2. Describe the scenario
  3. Provide a call-back number
  4. Brain health experts will respond in an hour or less

See which region your county is in

  • Care Connections of Northern Iowa: 844-345-4569
  • Central Iowa Community Services: 855-581-8111
  • County Social Services: 855-581-8111
  • Cross Mental Health Region: 641-342-1742
  • Eastern Iowa MHDS: 844-430-0375
  • Heart of Iowa Community Services: 911
  • MHDS of the East Central Region: 855-581-8111
  • Polk County MHDS Region: 911
  • Rolling Hills Community Services Region: 888-546-0730
  • Sioux Rivers MHDS: 855-581-8111
  • South Central Behavioral Health Region: 641-682-8772
  • Southeast Iowa Link: 855-581-8111
  • Southwest Iowa MHDS Region: 844-673-4469
  • Southwest Iowa MHDS: 844-673-4469