Emergency Preparedness

Psychological Emergency

Untitled Document

Quick Tip: Dial 911 for violent, threatening, or health related danger.


Psychological Emergency

IN THE EVENT OF A PSYCHOLOGICAL CRISIS:
Contact the police by dialing 911 if you encounter violent and/or threatening behavior, or if a person's health appears to be in danger. For non-emergencies dial (616) 331-3255.

OBJECTIVE:
Your main objective is to get the person referred to professional care. Do not risk the safety of yourself or others. If safe to do so, wait until emergency personnel are on scene.


Psychological Indicators/Guidelines

A PERSON IN PSYCHOLOGICAL CRISIS MAY EXHIBIT SOME OF THESE INDICATIONS:

  • Crying.

  • Suicidal tendencies.

  • Extreme withdrawal.

  • Agitated or aggressive behavior.

  • Unusual outbursts or disorientated statements.

  • Behavior or emotions inconsistent with his/her normal behavior.


SAFETY GUIDELINES:
  • Check that the area is safe to approach.

  • Look for potential weapons on or within reach of the person.

  • Keep a safe distance away from the person. The person may be a threat to you and to others.

  • Take all threats seriously.

  • Introduce yourself and let the person know you want to help.

  • Ask if the person is physically injured.

  • Listen for anger, depression, or uncertainty.

  • Remain calm and rational ¿ do not overreact.

  • Avoid physical techniques ¿ physical intervention can escalate the situation.

  • Keep non-verbal cues non-threatening ¿ body language, movement, and tone of voice send more messages than what you say.


IN THE EVENT OF A PSYCHOLOGICAL CRISIS:
Contact the police by dialing 911 if you encounter violent and/or threatening behavior, or if a person's health appears to be in danger. For non-emergencies dial (616) 331-3255.

Page last modified September 15, 2010