When Is It a Crisis?

We all have good and bad mental health days. When our mental health suffers it affects our ability to think, feel, and act. But when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis, it impacts their ability to function.  Any one of us can experience a mental health crisis and those who have been diagnosed with an existing mental illness are at an even greater risk.

Recognizing when someone is in crisis is key to getting them the help they need quickly.

Signs of a mental health crisis can show up in a variety of ways and will be different for each individual. A person in crisis may:

  • Have unpredictable behavior.
  • Have a hard time communicating their thoughts and feelings
  • Be acting in a way that could lead them to hurt themselves or others.

Often, a mental health crisis can be triggered by certain events such as job loss; school pressures; a break-up; death of a loved one; financial insecurity; medication changes; physical, sexual, or verbal abuse; or trauma.

Mental health crisis signs:

  • Rapid mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Confused thinking or irrational thoughts
  • Verbally stating, writing, or insinuating they’d like to hurt themselves or someone else
  • Talking about death or dying
  • Extreme energy or lack of energy
  • Changes in completion of daily tasks
  • Withdrawing from typically attended social situations
  • Changes in diet, not eating or eating all the time
  • Hallucinations, delusions, or paranoia
  • Losing touch with reality

This list is not all inclusive, but if you or someone you know are experiencing any of these signs, this is the time to reach out for professional support. An expert can do an assessment and advise on what steps to take. The best thing to do is remain calm and call the crisis hotline. Counselors will help de-escalate the situation, assess the individual, and offer treatment options.

No one is alone in experiencing a mental health crisis. If you know someone struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, or experiencing a mental health crisis contact the Southeast Minnesota Crisis Response Hotline at 1-844-274-7472. We are here to help.