What to do in a crisis
Anyone can experience a mental health crisis. Students do not need to have a severe mental health disorder to be in crisis.
A mental health crisis is when someone is unable to cope with the stresses of everyday living in a functional and safe way. They may not necessarily be a danger to themselves or others: a mental health crisis may look and feel differently for each person.
What are the signs that you need to take action?
Take action if a student:
- attempts self-harm or suicide, or makes plans to die by suicide
- threatens self-harm or threatens to harm others
- is verbally or physically abusive
- is severely agitated
- talks very rapidly or non-stop
- is excessively withdrawn
- doesn’t sleep or eat for several days
- has acute psychotic symptoms (delusions or hallucinations) that cause distress.
What to do if a student is having a mental health crisis
If a student is having a mental health crisis, you should:
- stay with them until help arrives
- stay calm, keep talking and be non-judgemental in your questioning
- remove anything that could cause harm, such as medication, knives or car keys
- be aware of your own safety.