Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST) - 1-800-981-HELP

The Boston Emergency Services Team sends mobile crisis clinicians to homes, schools, outpatient clinics and many other community locations.

Lead Agency: Boston Medical Center
Partners: Mass General Hospital Acute Psychiatry Services, Bay Cove Human Services, North Suffolk Mental Health Association

The Boston Emergency Services Team provides 24-hour response to adults and youth in need of crisis intervention for mental health and substance use concerns. Experienced master’s level clinicians, psychiatrists, family partners, certified peer specialists, advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, and mental health workers make up the team.

The BEST toll-free number can be used 24 hours a day to initiate services. Call Center clinicians will provide information, referral, or arrange an in-person evaluation. BEST was created to serve people with no insurance or with Mass Health; however, more commercial insurances are supporting mobile/urgent care emergency services. Call the 800# to find out whether your insurance is eligible.

BEST provides:

  • Immediate information & referrals
  • Psychiatric evaluation
  • Crisis intervention and treatment (including psychopharmacology)
  • Short-term Community Crisis Stabilization (up to 3-5 day stay)
  • Peer to peer support
  • Referral for ongoing treatment

Mobile Crisis Intervention

Mobile Crisis Intervention, known as MCI, is the youth-serving (under the age 21) component of BEST. MCI provides up to 7 days of crisis intervention services that are mobile, onsite, face-to-face therapeutic response to youth and family caregivers experiencing a behavioral health crisis. MCI identifies the problems involved, assesses needs, and begins to treat and stabilize the situation, reducing immediate risk of danger to youth or others.

The Urgent Care Centers

Urgent Care Centers are located at the Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center at Boston Medical Center, the Eric Lindemann Mental Health Center, and 660 Broadway, Somerville and offer an option when an office-based evaluation is desired. The benefits to using the Urgent Care Center are that patients will be seen in a timely fashion and in comfortable surroundings.

It is strongly advised that prior to arrival to Urgent Care Center the Call Center be contacted at 1-800-981-4357.

Community Crisis Stabilization units (CCS)

The adult Community Crisis Stabilization program serves persons 18 years of age and older, providing short-term crisis intervention over a three- to five-day stay. A staff-secured and safe treatment program, the CCS is a successful alternative or diversion to inpatient hospitalization.

Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Hotline - 1-800-327-5050

Suicide Resources

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Patient & Family Resource Center at MGH

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)


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