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What is a Mental Health Crisis?


Anyone can have a mental health crisis. There are many Biological, Psychological, Environmental and Spiritual causes of a mental health crisis. Person does not need to have a severe mental health disorder to have a crisis.

A person is mentally healthy if that person is in"a state of well-being in which that individual recognizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community."
 (World Health Organization definition of Mental Health)

A person has a mental health crisis when they are in a state of mind in which they are unable to cope with and adjust to the recurrent stresses of everyday living in a functional, safe way.

Some signs that a person may be in a mental health crisis are:



Inability to cope with daily problems and activities
Restless and pacing
Irritability, abusive
Suicidal or homicidal thinking
Social withdrawal
Excessive fear, worry, or anxiety
Chronic pain
Gastrointestinal disturbances
Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
Extreme mood swings
Angry outbursts
Racing thoughts, talking fast
Provocative or aggressive behavior
Alcohol or substance abuse
Inappropriate sexual behavior
Hear voices others don't hear
Believes others are plotting to harm him/her
Grandiosity (feels unrealistically powerful, important, and invincible)
Sees or hears things that are not there

In our crisis response trainings we use realistic practical exercises with professional actors so students can practice the de-escalation skills they learn.  A sample of some of the scenarios we might use depending on the audience are:


# 10-Depressed youth
# 11-Eating disorder
# 12-Agitated youth
# 13-Angry youth accused of stealing
# 14-Bullying
# 15-Alcohol and substance use disorder
# 16-Youth cutting
# 17-Youth trauma
# 18-Homeless youth
# 20-Welfare check
# 21-Veteran artist
# 22-Troubled youth
# 23-Wanderer
# 25-Angry racism charge
# 26-Suicidal person on overpass
# 27-Hypersexual person
# 28-Person angry and hostile
# 29-Person with depression
# 30-Inmate refusing transport
# 36-Suicide attempt
# 37-Threatening with weapon
# 38-Domestic violence
# 39-Crime victim
# 40-Chronic unemployed
# 41-Rape victim
# 42-Homicidal person

There are other scenarios to choose from and we can also write scenarios specifically for locations, organizations or situations.  

All of the scenarios in our trainings are lead by trained Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trained Coaches and are enacted by the very diverse, professional and well trained Mental Health Crisis Response Actors Troupe.   

Scenarios are taken from real life situations and are extremely realistic.  The practical exercises are a valuable part of the crisis intervention trainings because they allow students to practice the de-escalation skills taught in the course in a safe, realistic environment.  

Fill out the form below if you want us to contact you about crisis training or other community crisis prevention or collaboration services.



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