How To Help Someone In A Mental Health Crisis

Everyone engaged in a mental health crisis may feel overwhelmed, but understanding how to react appropriately may make a big difference. Having the appropriate information and attitude can help someone going through a mental health crisis receive much-needed assistance, whether you’re a friend, family member, or concerned onlooker. This article will walk you through the crucial actions you need to take to ensure that you can provide sensitive and useful support to someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

Recognizing the Signs of a Mental Health Crisis

Identifying the warning symptoms of a crisis of mental health is the first step in providing support to the person experiencing it. Although these symptoms might vary, they frequently involve severe mood swings, social disengagement, abrupt behavioral changes, statements of hopelessness, or discussions of self-harm or suicide. Indicators may also include physical signs such as changes in eating, sleeping, or personal hygiene routines.

Approach with Empathy and Compassion

It’s important to treat someone experiencing a mental health crisis with compassion and care. Make sure they feel heard and understood by speaking to them in a calm, nonjudgmental manner. Refrain from downplaying or disparaging their emotions. Tell them you’re here to assist them and that you understand how they feel. A tactful and caring approach can de-escalate the situation and create a sense of safety and openness in the other person.

Ensure Immediate Safety

It is always important to prioritize safety above all else while handling a mental health crisis. If the individual is a threat to themselves or others, prompt action is necessary. Remove everything that may be used to hurt themselves and stay with them until assistance comes. Do not hesitate to request assistance from emergency services if needed. In order to ensure everyone’s safety, qualified specialists can offer the assistance and intervention that are required.

Encourage Professional Help

One of the most important things in handling a mental health crisis is to support the client in getting expert assistance. Offer to assist them in locating a psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor who specializes in mental health. In addition, you can help with calling the National Depression Hotline or scheduling appointments and offer transportation if necessary. Occasionally, the individual may be reluctant to ask for assistance. In these situations, gently reassure them of the advantages of receiving expert assistance and that asking for assistance is a show of strength rather than weakness.

Provide Emotional Support

Continuous emotional support may have a big impact on how quickly someone recovers. Have patience and pay attention to what the other person is saying. Reassure them and let them know they are not the only ones going through this. Encourage children to communicate their ideas and emotions without worrying about being judged. By easing emotions of helplessness and loneliness, emotional support might make it simpler for the individual experiencing the crisis to deal with it.

Educate Yourself About Mental Health

Gaining knowledge about mental health issues and emergencies can enable you to offer more effective help. Find more about prevalent mental health conditions, how they manifest, and the available therapies. Gaining insight into the other person’s situation might help you be more empathetic and efficient while offering support. Additionally, you can help the individual get the correct care if you are aware of the options in your neighborhood, such as crisis centers, hotlines, and support groups.

Develop a Crisis Plan

One proactive approach to handling possible future problems is to assist someone in developing a crisis plan. A list of emergency contacts, what to do if they begin to feel overwhelmed, and a secure location to go in case they need help right away should all be part of this plan. Together, determine the person’s triggers and effective coping techniques. It may be comforting to feel in control and prepared while facing challenging circumstances, and having a strategy for emergencies in place can help.


Being aware, sensitive, and compassionate is necessary while offering mental health crisis support to someone. You can significantly affect their well-being by identifying the warning signals, being empathetic when approaching, making sure they are safe, promoting professional aid, offering emotional support, educating yourself, and creating a crisis plan. Recall that your assistance may act as a vital lifeline for anyone in need, guiding them through their crisis and toward healing.

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