Get Help Guide: Behavioral Health Resources


For helpful information about mental wellness during the Coronavirus pandemic, see COVID-19 Mental Wellness guide.

The Arlington Community Services Board (CSB) and Department of Human Services (DHS) seek to make it easy for residents to access quality mental healthcare when needed. We recognize that needs, services, and priorities are very individualized and often complex.

The Arlington CSB has compiled behavioral health education and mental illness support resources to help individuals and families affected by mental illness. In this directory, you will find mental health and substance use disorder services for all ages; specific services and information for children, youth and families; and myriad additional resources to foster self-reliance and recovery.

For additions, corrections, or other changes to this resource directory, email

Banner with text Suicide Is Not The Answer Call 703-228-5160 or 703-527-4077 or Text Connect to 85511

Crisis Resources

If someone is in immediate danger, call 911.

Crisis Resources for Adults

Crisis Resources for Children and Youth

School Support Line: This is a no-cost, confidential service that puts students and families in touch with mental health professionals who know how to listen, ask the right questions, and offer advice. And it’s available around the clock for you and for members of your family.

833-MeCigna (833-632-4462)

Worried your child may attempt suicide/self-harm? Not sure what to do? Call:








Featured Local Organizations

Arlington CSB Mental Health Committee is a standing advisory committee made up of volunteers, clients, family members, and mental health professionals. The Committee usually meets every fourth Wednesday of the month from 6-8 p.m. in Room 326 of 2120 Washington Blvd (Sequoia Plaza Building 3) except in July and August. The public is welcome to attend. The purpose of the Committee is to understand the mental health services provided by Arlington’s Department of Human Services (DHS) and to advise on improving the services provided to the community. Dr. Alan Orenstein is the DHS liaison to the Committee; he can be reached at

Arlington Mental Health and Disabilities Alliance is a group of family members with loved ones living with mental illness. The Alliance seeks to provide support to individuals and families, monitor mental health service delivery, and advocate for improved mental health services in the County. The Alliance meets monthly. The Alliance also has a list of mental health resources at Ms. Naomi Verdugo leads the Alliance; she may be reached at

  • Support group for parents and caregivers whose teens and young adults have mental illness:
    Meets 3rd Sunday of each month, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., at Cherrydale Baptist Church, 3910 Lorcom Lane, Arlington, VA (Room 118, Lower Level). Contact Naomi Verdugo at (703) 862-9588.
  • Support group for parents and caregivers whose children under 18 have mental illness:
    Meets various Sundays each month, 7 – 8:30 p.m., at Cherrydale Baptist Church, 3910 Lorcom Lane, Arlington, VA. Contact Michelle Best and see Northern Virginia Mental Health Info for dates.

National Alliance on Mental Illness–Northern Virginia Affiliate (NAMI Northern Virginia) is the nation’s largest non-profit mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness, including through scientific research and legislative advocacy. Its national headquarters are located in Arlington. NAMI Northern Virginia provides free education and support group programs for persons affected by mental illness. Contact:

The Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC) is a private, donor funded national lobbying organization headquartered in Arlington, dedicated to eliminating legal and other barriers to timely and effective treatment of severe mental illness. The organization promotes laws, policies and practices for the delivery of psychiatric care and supports the development of innovative treatments for and research into the causes of severe and persistent psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Other Organizations

Mental Health Services & Suicide Prevention Resources

Mental Health Crisis Service Providers

People experiencing mental illness will experience various stages of illness that require different levels of care across what is referred to as a continuum of care. Persons experiencing a mental health crisis or psychosis might require intensive in-patient psychiatric services. These local organizations provide intensive psychiatric medical care for mental illness:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (8255) is a free immediate, free and confidential hotline that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress and for people concerned about loved ones. It connects to a national network of local crisis centers.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP): Arlington is included in the National Capital Area Chapter. AFSP raises awareness and provides resources and aid to those affected by suicide. Contact Area Director Eileen Shannon at

Suicide Prevention Resources

Arlington Programs and Resources

Government and National Resources

Treatment Locators

Arlington CSB and DHS cannot recommend or endorse individual private mental health providers. The list below offers “locators” provided by the U.S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services, professional associations, and other sources.

Local Legal Support

Legal Issues

Mental illness often involves complex legal issues. Under state and/or federal laws, these issues may include:

  • Involuntary Treatment
  • Criminal Justice
  • Advance Mental Health Directive
  • Power of Attorney, Guardianship, Conservatorship, Advance Mental Health Directive
  • Special Needs Trust, ABEL Account, Representative Payee
  • Social Security Disability Benefit (SSI, SSDI)
  • Education
  • Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination

Local Legal Support

Individuals and family members often need lawyers with special knowledge and experience. CSB and DHS cannot recommend or endorse individual practitioners; however, the following list includes general sources for referral.

Virginia Public Defenders: It is the job of the Arlington Public Defender’s Office to provide quality, free legal advice, counsel and service to any resident of Arlington who cannot afford to pay for their legal defense.

Bradley Haywood, Arlington Public Defender,
One Courthouse Metro, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 510, Arlington, VA, 22201.
Phone: (703) 875-1111
Fax: (703) 875-0174

Legal Services of Northern Virginia free consultation

Arlington Bar Association

Online Publications Videos, Books & Articles

The Arlington County Public Library and publishers such as Guilford Press are sources for many titles about mental illness. CSB committee members suggest the following publications as helpful for understanding symptoms, treatments, self-care and personal journeys through serious mental illness and the mental health care system overall. Publications are listed for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and policies of Arlington CSB or DHS. They should not be relied on for actual medical or legal advice.

Publications and Articles


  • I Am Not Sick I Don’t Need Help – How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment, Xavier Amador
  • Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, Peter Early
  • Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill, D. J. Jaffe
  • An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, Kay Redfield Jamison 
  • The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey through MadnessElyn Saks 
  • The Family Guide to Mental Health Care, Lloyd Sederer 
  • Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey through Schizophrenia, Pamela Spiro Wagner & Carolyn Spiro 
  • Surviving Schizophrenia, E Fuller Torrey