What do I do in a crisis when there is a threat of suicide or violence?

In crisis situations, it is essential to follow the clinical protocols of our your organization. It is also extremely helpful to provide as much information as possible for the patient and family about what to expect and how to respond. It is helpful to share information such as the following:

  1. If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis or having thoughts of suicide, it’s important to talk with someone who is a professional. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has trained counselors available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Don’t wait–call 988 now!
  2. Crisis Text Line offers 24/7 crisis support. Text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected with a trained crisis counselor.
  3. For more facts and resources on preventing suicide, please see NAMI’s suicide prevention page at https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Family-Members-and-Caregivers/Preventing-Suicide.

If you believe that the person is an immediate danger to themselves or others, please don’t hesitate to call 911 or get them to the nearest hospital emergency room.

NAMI’s Calling 911 and Talking with Police pages provide additional information on how to deal with a potential crisis situation (https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Family-Members-and-Caregivers/Calling-911-and-Talking-with-Police). You should always inform the dispatcher that you’re calling regarding a mental health emergency. You may also want to request a mobile crisis team or crisis intervention team (CIT) trained police officers be dispatched if available in the area.

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