Between 32 and 50 percent of people will suffer from a mental health disorder at some point in their lifetime. Everyday stressors can end up triggering mental health problems in children and adults. If a mental health crisis occurs, there are a few things loved ones can do to help.
What is a Mental Health Crisis?
A mental health crisis is a situation where someone’s behavior poses a risk to themselves or someone else. This term may also refer to times when the person’s behavior prevents them from being a functioning member of the community. They may also be unable to care for themselves properly.
Many conditions and situations can lead to mental health crisis symptoms. For example, the individual may suffer trauma, suicidal thoughts, or depression. They may also be dealing with self-harm, alcohol abuse, eating disorders, or substance abuse.
Signs of a Mental Health Crisis
If you think your loved one has mental health problems, there are a few mental health crisis symptoms you should watch out for. You should always reach out to a mental health professional for more help when in doubt. The following symptoms are signs someone may be dealing with a mental health crisis.
- Isolation from loved ones
- Sudden mood swings or changes in energy levels
- Inability to take care of daily tasks and grooming activities
- Agitation and violent behavior
- Destruction of property and violent threats
- Self-harm behaviors or abusive behaviors towards self and other people
- Pacing or problems sitting still
- Psychosis and a sense of being out of touch with reality
- Hearing voices and seeing things that aren’t there
What to Do When There is a Mental Health Crisis
If your loved one is going through a mental health crisis, you can do a few things to de-escalate the situation.
The most important thing is always to stay calm. It would help if you expressed support and concern without overreacting. Otherwise, you can end up making a difficult situation worse.
Sometimes, the best way to help someone through a difficult time is by listening to them. Ask them what you can do to help, and be patient.
During a mental health crisis, you want to avoid overstimulating the person. Please don’t touch them unless you have permission, don’t make continuous eye contact, and move slowly. It would help if you gave them plenty of space, so they don’t feel trapped.
Give Them Options
Instead of telling the individual what to do, could you provide them with options? This gives them a sense of control. If you need to take action, announce what you are doing before you do it.
If you want to de-escalate the situation, don’t try to argue with the person. It would help if you also avoided judgmental comments. Emotions and feelings are often not logical, so don’t try to reason with them.
Call ‘988’ Mental Health Crisis Hotline for Help
During a mental health crisis, dial 988 on your phone, and you can instantly talk to a mental health professional. This mental health crisis hotline provides 24/7 support for people experiencing emotional distress or suicidal crises.
Additional Mental Health Support
The San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital offers a range of programs to help people struggling with mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse problems, and more. In addition, if you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, the San Antonio Healthcare Hospital can help. To learn more about our programs and get support, contact us today.