Crisis Help

If You Or a Family Member Are In a Crisis Situation, This Information Can Help



This is a service you set up in advance of the need to call 911.

How Does Smart911 Work?

Smart911 allows citizens to provide the additional details that 9-1-1 call takers may need in order to assist them during an emergency. When you dial 9-1-1 today the information received by the 9-1-1 call center can be limited based on the type of phone you are calling on. With Smart911, anytime you make an emergency call from a phone registered with your Safety Profile, the 9-1-1 systems recognizes your phone number and automatically displays your profile on the screen of the call taker who receives your call.

At a time when you may be panicked, or unable to communicate, or it could be unsafe to communicate, Smart911 ensures that the details you would need to tell 9-1-1 are immediately available in the event you cannot verbally provide them. Smart911 is free, private and secure. Please review our Privacy Policy for further information.

Go to Smart911 to sign up


How to call 911


  • This tells you what to say to 911 operator.

  • It instructs how to get your loved one safely into a Crisis Stabilization Unit in Alachua County so they can get the acute specialized mental illness observation for safety or treatment they need and deserve.

Report Missing Persons

Call (352)-955-1818

(same number used for Alachua County or Gainesville)


What to look for if you suspect someone is considering Suicide.

For suicide intervention, call Alachua County Crisis Center Crisis Hotline (352)-264-6789,

or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Forensic (Jail) situations where a broken law is involved Click for details.

(often unknowingly by a person with a mental illness)

Misdemeanor -- Baker Act Florida Statute [s. 394.462(1)(f), F.S.] states: " When any law enforcement officer has custody of a person based on either noncriminal or minor criminal behavior that meets the statutory guidelines for involuntary examination under this part, the law enforcement officer shall[must] transport the person to the nearest receiving facility for examination." (crisis stabilization unit not jail).

Felony -- Baker Act Florida Statute [s. 394.462(1)(g), F.S.] states: " When any law enforcement officer has arrested a person for a felony and it appears that the person meets the statutory guidelines for involuntary examination or placement under this part, such person shall first be processed in the same manner as any other criminal suspect. The law enforcement agency shall thereafter immediately notify the nearest public receiving facility, which shall be responsible for promptly arranging for the examination and treatment of the person. A receiving facility is not required to admit a person charged with a crime for whom the facility determines and documents that it is unable to provide adequate security, but shall provide mental health examination and treatment to the person where he or she is held. "

BAKER ACT 101 — Involuntary Examination Criteria.

A person may be taken to a receiving facility for involuntary examination if there is reason to believe that the person has a mental illness and because of his or her mental illness both these criteria must be met:

1. The person has refused voluntary examination after conscientious explanation and disclosure of the purpose of the examination; OR the person is unable to determine for himself or herself whether examination is necessary.


2a). Without care or treatment, the person is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself; such neglect or refusal poses a real and present threat of substantial harm to his or her well-being; and it is not apparent that such harm may be avoided through the help of willing family members or friends or the provision of other services; OR

b). There is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment the person will cause serious bodily harm to himself or herself or others in the near future, as evidenced by recent behavior.



A judge or mental health professional “may” initiate the examination – no duty to do so even if they believe the two criteria above are met. However, a law enforcement officer “shall” (=mandatory must) initiate if he/she believes the criteria are met. The court has to rely on sworn testimony, the mental health professional has to rely on his/her own observations, and the law enforcement officer only has to describe the circumstances under which the person was taken into custody – officers do not necessarily have to see the problem behavior to initiate as long as there are credible witnesses, like a caring family member. The officer still has to have “reason to believe” that the criteria are met. The wording of the Alachua county Sheriff’s office states that an officer “may” take a person into a crisis center for involuntary observation upon being given supplemental information from family members, but the wording does not state that the officer “shall/must” do this solely based on information from family members.

Download the complete Florida BAKER ACT LAW from Dept of Children and Families

Baker Act Essentials FAQ for Cops and Citizens


Baker Act Online Training Course from University of South Florida Dept of Mental Health Law and Policy

Baker Act -- Everthing you could ever possibly wanted to know.  Website of Florida Dept of Children & Families.

Help Instead of Handcuffs

Know how to phone 911 to request special Crisis Intervenion Trained ("C.I.T.") officers trained in Alachua county to help mental illness crisis in a compassionate manner.

Click for more information and video...

Useful Background Knowledge