Finding Treatment During A Mental Health Crisis

Men discuss benefits of a men's detox center.

Getting Treatment During a Crisis

In 2019, 5.2 percent of the adult population in this country experienced severe mental illness. That covers everything from bipolar disorder to substance abuse. In addition, a certain number of those individuals were in a crisis that required them to get immediate medical or psychiatric help.

Knowing what to do when you or someone you love experiences a mental health crisis can be challenging. How can you even recognize that someone is in crisis and needs emergency care?

These are common questions. So, how do you go about getting treatment during a crisis?

What Is a Mental Health Crisis?

A mental health crisis refers to any situation where someone is a risk to themselves or others. The risk can involve:

  • Threats of violence
  • Threats of suicide
  • Suicide attempts
  • Inability to care for themselves
  • Abusive behavior
  • Out of touch with reality
  • Paranoia
  • Excessive drug use

For some, there may be no warning signs. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. among those aged 10 to 34 and the fourth leading cause in those aged 35 to 44. It can happen with no one ever realizing there is a crisis. The crisis can occur even before there is a diagnosis of a mental illness.

Planning Ahead

When there is known substance abuse or mental illness, families need a plan to handle a crisis should it occur. You might even want a plan in place if there is a history of suicide in the family. The plan should include:

  • Information on where to get help. This might consist of directions to the local emergency room, the phone number of a treating psychiatric professional, or a crisis hotline.
  • A list of family members, friends, or sponsors and their contact numbers as well. These should be individuals who can help and be supportive during a crisis.

Also, it might be helpful to keep a journal handy with any medical and emergency contact information. You can list vital information in the journal for reference, such as:

  • Any medications and diagnoses
  • Any relevant history regarding suicide attempts, psychosis, or drug abuse
  • Any emotional or verbal triggers
  • Any things that have helped in the past

This information can assist the people there during a crisis to de-escalate the situation until help arrives. It will also give the treating healthcare staff insight into the person in crisis.

When to Call for Help During a Crisis

You should not try to handle getting treatment during a crisis alone. Always call for help if the possibility of self-harm or violence is clear. If you are unsure, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this person in danger? That can be from themselves or someone else.
  • Is this person in need of emergency medical or psychiatric care?
  • Are you in a place where you can call for help?

If in doubt and you can call for help, then you should as a precaution. Even if you don’t think there is an immediate risk, consider calling someone for support anyway. That might be a therapist, sponsor, crisis line, or family physician.

Considering Treatment After the Crisis

In some cases, healthcare professionals may decide to order an emergency hold. It means the person at risk must stay in a secure facility for a set time, usually 72 hours. This gives families the time they need to arrange for continuing mental health care.

Even after the emergency, it is crucial to consider your options. For example, someone with a drug or alcohol addiction will likely need medical detox, which is the first stage of treatment for many individuals.

Medical Detox

Detoxification begins after the last dose of a drug or drink of alcohol. The body starts eliminating the substance and stabilizing, so you can adjust to life without it. That can lead to some uncomfortable side effects called withdrawal.

Medical detox provides supervised support during this process. Medical staff can offer treatments that lessen the severity of the withdrawal, for example. There are also therapists to address behavioral issues and habits that interfere with long-term recovery.

Detox should be a priority for those transitioning to a treatment program. Most programs require you to be sober before admitting you. Detox ensures you go into the program with the best chance of recovery.

Mental Health Residential Care

Getting treatment during a crisis, or after, might involve a short-term residential program for those with mental health issues beyond substance abuse disorder. These are live-in environments with 24-hour supervision and support. Clients live with others who are also undergoing treatment.

Choosing a live-in environment allows you to face the challenges of treatment with others who understand. In addition, residential care typically offers a variety of treatment programs, including individual and group therapy.

About Summit

Summit Detox and Mental Health is a 20-bed residential program located in Boynton Beach, Florida. The medical detox program offers medically supervised withdrawal and mental health primary treatment.

The detox program at Summit offers things you might not find in other treatment facilities, such as healthy food, evening 12-step meetings, and even smoke breaks for those who need them. Our caring, experienced medical staff understand what it is like to experience detox. Many of them are in recovery as well.

The mental health program offers treatment for:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • OCD
  • Depression
  • PTSD

Also, the staff can serve as a primary mental health provider. While at Summit, clients enjoy:

  • Healthy food
  • Individual counseling
  • Daily activities

There is 24/7 onsite nursing care and psychiatric professionals on staff, along with medication and case management.

If you are considering your treatment options or need help getting treatment during a crisis, contact us today to find out more about Summit Detox and Mental Health.


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