mental health crisis

mental health crisis

A comprehensive guide on how to get help

If you are thinking or you're worried about a friend or loved one, and need immediate help, please call 9-1-1 or 1-800-273-8255.

what to do in a mental health crisis

Assess the situation before deciding who to call.

seek help

When a mental health crisis occurs, family and friends often don't know what to do. The behaviors of a person experiencing a crisis can be unpredictable and can change dramatically without warning. If you are worried that someone is in or nearing a mental health crisis.

start a conversation with be nice.


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notice the warning signs of a crisis situation
  • notice psychological, emotional, and/or physical changes lasting longer than two weeks. This is how someone is thinking, acting, and feeling.
For example:
  • inability to cope with daily tasks
  • rapids mood swings
  • increased agitation
  • feeling helpless, hopeless or worthless
  • talking or posting about death, dying, or suicide
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invite yourself to have a conversation about your concerns. "I'm concerned about you."
  • "I've noticed _____ and I'm worried about you."
  • "You shouldn't be feeling this way for this long. Let's work together to find a professional that can help."
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challenge the stigma - communicate important resources located on this website or resources that are local to you. "There is help available."
  • "It's just a phase; You'll get over it; Just think positively; Stop being moody; She just wants attention." -- These are all harmful and incorrect responses. An empathetic response will facilitate better conversation and follow-up actions.
  • "Thank you for sharing that with me. I'm sure it wasn't easy. Let's figure out what to do together."
  • If you think someone may be suicidal, it's important they get help right away. You might feel comfortable asking the question, "Are you thinking of suicide?" This question saves lives.
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empower yourself with the knowledge that you can have a positive effect on how someone thinks, acts, and feels.
  • Empower yourself and the person who is struggling with mental illness by being an ally, someone they can trust. Illnesses like depression and anxiety are complicated, like many physical illnesses, and sometimes need to be managed every day.
  • Create a crisis plan, and have resources saved in your phone or easily accessible at home or work.
  • Make a list of protective factors - things that lower the effect of risk factors on our mental health. Eg. access to and utilizing mental health resources, family/friends, hobbies, good habits, etc.

resources available to you

Reach out to one of these organizations for help, or visit the nearest emergency department for urgent medical care.

Contact the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan

349 Division Ave S Grand Rapids, MI 49503


info@benice.org | 616.389.8601

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