5 Things to do in a Mental Health Emergency

Happy Friday!!! I’m so happy it’s the weekend that I am pretty sure that Carly Rae Jepson pop song has been playing in my heart all day long.

The nature of my job is such that I work among people who have experienced incredible trauma and often have a mental health issue of some kind. Therefore, I realize that I probably encounter suicidal ideation and other mental health crises more often than the average Jo. Yet, the fact of the matter is that many people, and very possibly you, will at some point encounter a mental health emergency with someone they love. These people are not counselors. So, what can they do? Helping someone find the help that they need can save lives… which is why it is this week’s Change the World post. If someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency- whether it be hallucinations, suicidal ideation, or even just a panic attack, there are a few things you should always do.

  1. Unless you are a licensed mental health professional, DO NOT try to diagnose or treat them. (I mean, you wouldn’t perform a bypass on someone having a hard attack because “you know them really well”, and mental health emergencies are just as complex as physical health issues)
  2. Ask them questions. These vary depending on the situation, but try to keep the person present in the moment.
  3. Stay with them, but ask for permission before giving a comforting touch.
  4. Call Behavioral Health Link. They have a 24 hour crisis line staffed with qualified professionals. They can speak to the person experiencing the crisis, as well as give you next steps and guidance for what to do specific to the situation. Their number is

    1-800-715-4225

  5. If the person is an immediate danger to themselves or others, call 911 immediately.

I know this is heavy stuff… but with suicide being the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, it is important to be equipped with the resources to help prevent it. Again, the BehavioralHealthLink Crisis Line for you to put in your phone is

1-800-715-4225

I hope you all have a wonderful, world-changing weekend!

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