If In Crisis

 

If you have a mental health crisis and need emergency assistance – call 911

 

Crisis Lines

Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

NAMI HelpLine
1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
Available Mon–Fri 10 AM to 6 PM EST

Veterans Crisis Line
1-800-273-8255 press 1

La Crosse County Mobile Crisis
Phone and/or face-to-face service
24 hours – 7 days/week
(608) 784-HELP (4357)

 

Communicating With
Someone In Crisis
Who Has A Psychiatric
Illness

DO – DO – DO

  • SLOW DOWN.
  • GIVE THEM SPACE. Don’t make them feel trapped.
  • BE CALM. Express support and concern.
  • SPEAK SLOWLY AND SOFTLY.
  • USE SHORT, SIMPLE SENTENCES.
  • AVOID sudden or quick movements.
  • BE HELPFUL. Respond to basic needs. Be low key.
  • “We are all here to help.”
  • GIVE FIRM, CLEAR DIRECTIONS; One person should talk to the subject
  • RESPOND TO DELUSIONS OR HALLUCINATIONS by talking about the person’s feelings rather than what he or she is saying.
  • LISTEN to their story
  • EXPLAIN POLICY, especially if handcuffed.

 

DON’T – DON’T – DON’T

  • DON’T TAKE CONTROL if you don’t have to.
  • DON’T ARGUE or reason with psychotic thinking.
  • DON’T STARE at the subject.
  • DON’T CONFUSE THE SUBJECT. One person should interact with the subject. Ask casual observers to leave. Follow through with directions or commands
  • DON’T TOUCH THE SUBJECT UNLESS NECESSARY. For people with mental illnesses it may cause fear and lead to violence.
  • DON’T SHOUT.
  • DON’T GIVE THEM MULTIPLE CHOICES. This can increase the subject’s confusion.
  • DON’T WHISPER, JOKE OR LAUGH.
  • DON’T DECEIVE the subject. Dishonesty increases fear and suspicion; the subject will likely remember it in any subsequent contact.
  • DON’T ARREST A PERSON FOR MENTALLY ILL BEHAVIOR NOT CRIMINAL IN NATURE.
  • DON’T JOIN into behavior related to the person’s mental illness
  • DON’T HOGTIE a person who has to be restrained. Immediately raise him/her from prone into sitting position, monitor vital signs, and call for medical aid.
 

Additional Resources

CRISES AND SUICIDE

Girls & Boys Town National Hotline
(800) 448-3000

National Hopeline Network
(800) SUICIDE

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800) 273-TALK (8255)

National Youth Crisis Hotline
(800) 442-HOPE (4673)

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ALCOHOL

Alcohol Hotline
(800) 331-2900

Al-Anon for Families of Alcoholics
(800) 344-2666

Alcohol and Drug Helpline
(800) 821-4357

Alcohol Treatment Referral Hotline
(800) 252-6465

Alcohol & Drug Abuse Hotline
(800) 729-6686

Families Anonymous
(800) 736-9805

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Hopeline
(800) 622-2255

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SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Poison Control
(800) 222-1222

National Institute on Drug Abuse Hotline
(800) 662-4357

Cocaine Anonymous
(800) 347-8998

National Help Line for Substance Abuse
(800) 262-2463

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

National Domestic Violence Hotline
(800) 799-7233

National US Child Abuse Hotline
(800) 422-4453