Mental Health Crisis Services 

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and in need of emergency assistance, please call 911 for assistance and request mobile crisis as well as officers and paramedics.

Mobile Crisis

Mobile Crisis provides voluntary community-based assessments and short-term crisis management for children, youth, and adults experiencing a mental health crisis. Mobile Crisis is designed to assist law enforcement with mental health related calls. Mobile Crisis clinicians are dispatched at the request of the officers on scene. The Mobile Crisis team is staffed with behavioral health specialists, including mental health therapists, social workers, and registered nurses.

The Mobile Crisis team can complete a mental health assessment, help to stabilize situations with on-site crisis management, provide referrals for services, and facilitate an emergency room mental health evaluation (if necessary).

What are the goals of Mobile Crisis?

  • Stabilize clients on location within Polk County
  • Prevent unnecessary hospitalizations
  • Provide crisis resources
  • Save valuable police time

What services can Mobile Crisis provide? 

  • Complete mental health assessment
  • Help to stabilize situations with on-site crisis management
  • Provide crisis resources

How do I access Mobile Crisis?

If you are experiencing a mental crisis and needing assistance call (515) 283-4811. Tell law enforcement dispatch there is a mental health crisis and clearly explain the situation. 

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and in need of emergency assistance, please call 911 for assistance and request mobile crisis as well as officers and paramedics.

Crisis Observation Center (COC)

Location: 1801 Hickman Road, Des Moines, Iowa 50314
Phone: (515) 282-5742  
In case of emergency, call 911
Hours: Open 24/7, 365 days/year

The Crisis Observation Center (COC) provides a safe and calm environment for those 18 years or older. The (COC) is open to the community for those who are experiencing psychological stress which does not require hospitalization. 

(COC) staff consists of nurses, care coordinators and psychiatric technicians. Staff will help coordinate or assist with seeing mental health providers for medication management and/or therapy. 

Information on various resources and programs in Polk County are available at the (COC), such as insurance programs, housing, food assistance, transportation, clothing, emergency shelters, substance abuse counseling and treatment, waiver services, case management, employment, education, dental services, stabilization centers, WIC, daycare assistance, respite, day hab, FIP and other various providers within the community.  

Staff will assist with providing information on various resources and programs throughout Polk County.  

What is Psychological Stress?

Psychological stress can be broadly defined as any stimulus that evokes fear or anxiety in a person. A person may experience psychological stress when under mental, physical and emotional pressure. Stress factors may arise from people's daily responsibilities and routines, including work, family, and finances.

While at the Crisis Observation Center one must be able to:

  • Have safe behaviors
  • Provide and maintain hygiene needs
  • Cooperate with staff by participating with registration, intake and discharge

Services available, but not limited to:

  • Mental health assessments
  • Coordination of services and basic needs 
  • Crisis therapy
  • Medication management

Crisis Stabilization Residential Services (CSRS)

The purpose of the CSRS is to provide short-term services provided in a facility-based setting. CSRS is designed for voluntary individuals who are in need of a safe, secure environment less intensive and restrictive than an impenitent hospital. The mission of CSRS is to stabilize and reintegrate the individual back into the community. 

Location: 1730 Arlington Avenue, Des Moines, IA.
Phone: (515) 244-3944
Hours: Open 24/7, 365 days/year

  • The 5-day crisis stabilization facility is a welcoming and comfortable environment conducive to recovery
  • This is an unlocked setting and a voluntary program for those experiencing crisis
  • The Broadlawns Crisis Observation Center is the point of access for there CSRS

Criteria Eligibility:

  • Age: 18 years of age or older
  • Admission is on a voluntary basis. Generally, clients will be asked to provide informed consent which will be documented in the medical records.
  • Guardianship: Guardian consent must be obtained prior to treatment being provided at CSRS. 
  • Safety: Clients must be able to maintain personal safety and not be at imminent risk of harm to themselves or others. 
  • Treatment providers, family members and other natural supporters as appropriate are contacted within 24 hours of the individual's admission. 
  • Medical: Clients must be free of acute untreated or unstable medical issues
  • Self-Care: Clients must be able to provide their own basic self-care tasks such as eating, drinking, toileting, bathing and transferring independently or with minimal assistance, as well as being able to check blood sugars and administer insulin. 


  • Services are provided by referrals from any community resources or through self-referrals.
  • A mental health assessment indicates a need for placement, and not a need for inpatient acute hospital services.  

What Happens when I go to CSRS?

Upon arrival to the CSS program, you will be given a tour of the facility and shown your assigned room. You will meet with both a nurse and a qualified mental health professional (QMHP) within the first 24 hours. You will work with a QMHP to develop a short-term, goal driven, treatment plan directed at stabilizing your mental health to return safely back into the community setting. You will have daily skill building with direct support staff, daily contact with a QMHP, and daily groups.

Additional Resources: