Preventing A Crisis

Understand your warning signs

In order to prevent or avoid a crisis, learn and recognize your warning signs. Warning signs may include
having trouble with daily tasks, feeling more agitated, isolating yourself, sudden or extreme changes in
mood, abusive behavior to yourself or others (e.g. self harm, substance abuse), and paranoia.
Once you have identified what your signs are, confide in trusted loved ones about how you are feeling,
what to look for, and what to do if you are exhibiting signs of being in crisis. Your loved ones should
also know how to contact your mental health professional in a crisis.


Build your toolkit

Think about what has triggered these thoughts and feelings in the past, and if possible, identify what
helped you get through those situations. Use this information to build a toolkit of coping mechanisms that
you can use in a crisis. Brainstorm what you can do to help yourself feel better. Maybe it’s self care like
going for a walk or taking a bath, or maybe you would feel better if you talked to a friend or loved one.


Talk to your doctor

You should also speak to your mental health professional for support. They can help you identify tools to
calm yourself in an emergency and make a crisis plan. A crisis plan helps you and your loved ones know
the steps to take if you are experiencing crisis symptoms.

Your mental health professional can also evaluate your current treatment plan with you to determine what
is working and where changes may be needed. Try to be open and honest about how you are feeling and
what is and is not working for you.

If you do not have a mental health care provider, talk to a doctor for a referral so that you can begin
receiving treatment and make your crisis plan.


Take care of yourself and remember you are not alone

In times of crisis, it can help to receive encouragement from friends, family, peers, or support groups.
There is support available through the following resources:
From us – Reach out to us! You can reach us at 414-376-5577. Or come to 804 West Greenfield
Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53204

The NAMI HelpLine800-950-6264 or can offer you sympathy and support and connect you
with resources in your community

A “warmline” is a phone line where trained volunteers offer sympathy and support. To find a warmline in
your area, dial 211, or go to

In a crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 as soon as possible.

Adapted and Sourced from: National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI).