What to expect when you call the counselor on-call
You can reach the counselor on-call 24/7/365 by calling 504-865-3835 and pressing 1
The automated system will pick up your call and put you in the queue. On average, you will speak with a care associate within 3 minutes of calling, and 2 out of 5 calls are answered within 30 seconds or less. After an initial assessment, you will be transferred to the first available licensed clinician.
It's important that you are open and honest with your care associate--if you are in crisis or in danger of harming yourself, or if you are with someone who can't keep themselves safe--tell them so that they can stay on the line with you while getting you to a counselor ASAP.
If at any point you are in imminent danger of harming yourself please call emergency services at 504-865-3434 or 911.
Please note that sometimes you might have to wait to speak with a counselor. Average wait-times are under 10 minutes, but this can feel like an eternity when you are in distress. While you are on hold, it might be helpful to put something cold, such as an ice cube, in your hand or against your face, or to visualize a calming environment like a forest or beach. This breathing exercise is a simple way to help self-regulate. And of course, cute animals. Remind yourself that help is on the way.
When you speak with the counselor on-call, they will help you to manage distress in the moment, and come up with a plan for the future. You will have the option of requesting follow up from the UCC in the morning, or referrals for care in the community.
The UCC will always call you the next business morning to check in if you hang up before you speak with a counselor. Daily triage and crisis appointments are available M-F, between 9 am and 4 pm.
Note: Callers who are more comfortable speaking in another language can request that an interpreter join the call to provide translation services.
Nota: Las personas que se sienten más cómodas hablando en otro idioma pueden solicitar que un intérprete se una a la llamada para brindar servicios de traducción.