When you or your loved one has a mental illness, it is important to be prepared in the event of a crisis. There are times when mental health symptoms can occur suddenly and unexpectedly in an emergency situation. Coping with a mental health emergency can help ensure everyone’s safety and prevent the situation from escalating or becoming dangerous.
While it is important to take as many steps as possible to prevent a mental health crisis, the reality is that sometimes these incidents occur. Having an action plan in place is crucial either for yourself or your loved one that has a mental illness. An action plan has details about who to call, where to go, and what kind of treatment you want in order to recover.
For an action plan, you will need to have specifics about what symptoms, warning signs, or issues constitute a crisis for you as it can be different for everyone. You will also need information about a health professional, emergency room, or treatment center you want to be notified about the crisis. Make sure to go over your action plan with loved ones so that they know what to do to help you.
You might also want to consider notifying your employer, arranging care for your children, or other specifics that will need to be organized in the event of a crisis. For those who don’t have an action plan yet and are experiencing a crisis, contact a friend or loved one that can help you get in touch with your doctor or a mental health care provider. The most important thing is to have a support system available and connect with health professionals that can assess the situation.
Mental illness can be unpredictable at times and being prepared for an emergency can help prevent a tragedy.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-6264,
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 800- 662-4357
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): 866- 615-6464.
Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741