Mental health crises are unpredictable, can be very frightening, and sometimes even life-threatening. Without proper treatment, mental health crises can result in suicidal ideation, self-harm, and a decline in the general condition of mental and physical health in the long run. There is often an underlying mental illness at the root of mental health crises. While anyone can experience a mental health crisis, some groups are at a higher risk. These include people who have a history of mental illness, trauma, or substance abuse; those going through major life changes or stressors; and those who do not have a strong support system.
The most important thing to remember if you are experiencing a mental health crisis is that you are not alone. There are people who care about you and want to help. In order to manage a mental health crisis effectively, it is vital that you get the assistance of mental health professionals. The following signs can help you determine whether you’re having a mental health crisis:
- feeling hopeless, helpless, or worthless
- feeling excessively angry, anxious, or guilty
- feeling like you can’t go on or that life isn’t worth living
- withdrawing from others and wanting to be alone
- losing interest in things you used to enjoy
- abusing alcohol or drugs
- sleeping too much or too little
- eating too much or too little
- engaging in risky or self-destructive behavior
- experiencing psychotic symptoms, such as paranoia or hallucinations
If you are experiencing any of these signs, it’s important to reach out for help. You can talk to your doctor, a mental health professional, a friend or family member, or someone else you trust. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, there are hotlines you can call, like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or dial 988.
Once you have reached out for help, the next step is to get a referral to a mental health professional who can offer you assistance. This professional can provide you with an assessment to determine whether you are experiencing a mental health crisis and the nature of the problem you’re facing. If it is determined you are in fact experiencing a mental health crisis, the mental health professional can work with you to develop a treatment plan. This plan may include medication, therapy, and/or other support services.
During the course of treatment, your goal will be to find a way to resolve the crisis and prevent future crises from happening. In most cases, the treatment will last for several weeks or months depending on the severity of the condition. After the immediate crisis has passed, you may continue to see a mental health professional on a regular basis to help prevent future crises and to manage any underlying mental illness.
Case Management for Mental Health Crises
Case management can be an integral part of treatment for mental health crises. A case manager is a professional who works with you and your treatment team to coordinate all aspects of your care. Case managers are familiar with community resources and can connect you with services that can help you recover from a mental health crisis.
Case management plays a vital role in mental health care. It is defined as a collaborative process that assesses, plans, implements, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the options and services required to meet the client’s health and human service needs. In other words, case managers are responsible for connecting people experiencing mental health crises to the resources they need to recover, as well as helping to implement and guide patients through their treatment plans.
How Case Management Works
Case management is a coordinated set of therapeutic modalities and activities intended to promote quality and cost-effective outcomes for people with mental health problems. It is based on the principle that timely and effective intervention can improve a person’s ability to function in all settings and can prevent or reduce the need for more intensive services.
Case management is built on a strengths-based, person-centered approach that seeks to engage people in their own recovery. It emphasizes building collaboration and trust between the case manager and the person served, as well as between the case manager and the various service providers involved. Case management services are designed to meet the individual needs of each person and may include assessment, service planning, linking and monitoring services, crisis intervention, and advocacy.
The primary goal of case management is to help people with mental health problems attain their desired level of functioning in the community. Case managers work to promote recovery by helping people to access available resources and services, and by providing support and assistance in using those resources effectively. Case management services are an essential component of the continuum of care for people with mental health problems and can play a vital role in helping people to avoid or reduce the need for more intensive services.
If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health crisis, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Life Adjustment Team for case management services today!