Listen don’t offer advice or tell the person what they should do. Listen to their concerns, even if they don’t make sense and reassure that you’re trying to see things from their point of view.
Limit distractions turn down loud noises, retreat to a quieter space with softer lighting and a neutral temperature.
Keep a check of your own body language and tone of voice.
Don’t ask too many questions and keep questions simple and short.
Ask them what would help right now.
Before doing something or calling someone else, ask if this is okay with them.
It’s okay not to know what to do and it can be helpful sharing that. You’re not there to rescue the person; explain that you might need to ask for advice from someone else to help you better support them – crisis team for example.
If you’re aware of triggers for upsetting responses and behaviour, try and remove these or guide the person away from these.
Never put yourself if harms way and always remove yourself from harm if you can. Sometimes this is beneficial to both and can act as a diffuser.
Remember a crisis is something that is outside of your control, is intensely difficult and could lead to harm. In a crisis you need to get support. There may be underlying reasons for the crisis that need medical attention, like an infection.
Who can help?
- The GP
- NHS 111
- 999 if in immediate danger
- Local mental health crisis teams
- Social Care Team
After the crisis
- Take time out to digest what has happened.
- Talk over your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust.
- Access support – IAPT, Carers Support Services.
- If it helps, write down thoughts and feelings – get them out of your head and on paper.
- When things are calm, think about a future crisis management plan.