When you are in a mental health crisis it can be difficult to make sense of anything let alone what you are experiencing. I have come up with some things to do when you are in the middle of a mental health crisis. These things can be helpful coping skills even when dealing with your mental health from day-to-day.
Evaluate the Situation
Is it Urgent?
Have you made up a plan to kill yourself? Did you come up with the when, how, and where you are going to do it? Are you a danger to yourself or someone else? Please, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
If you have decided that your crisis isn’t life threatening please consider the following:
Talk to Someone
Reach out. Call a hotline, a therapist, or a loved one. It can be very difficult to open up about what has been going on but reaching out can help. Notify your mental health treatment team as well so they can take all necessary actions. If you don’t yet have a treatment team, make an appointment with your primary care doctor. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, do some research on nearby walk in centers.
Know your Warning Signs/Take Note of Symptoms
Write down all the symptoms you notice. This can help your team come up with proper diagnoses or adjust your treatment to better manage them.
Take advantage of online resources if you are in need of help. A simple search for coping techniques or information on your disorder can prove helpful. The Mind website has a button that reads ‘I need urgent help’ that can be useful in a crisis situation as well. Here are some more resources: the app What’s Up?, the app 7 cups to connect to a listener, and online therapy sites.
If you aren’t currently in a crisis or want to prepare for future crisis, plan ahead and make a crisis kit. Include the contact information for important people in your life, tangible coping tools, backup medications and headphones. Add anything that helps you calm down or feel grounded.
Inform Loved Ones
Inform your loved ones about your mental health disorders. Tell them how they can help you and what you need from them. Telling them in advance can be beneficial if you are ever in crisis.
I hope this was of help to you if you are in crisis at the moment. Know that it will get better.