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Handling a Teen Mental Health Crisis

a teen struggles to handle a mental health crisis on his own and could benefit from crisis intervention services

The average teenager today faces a variety of pressures in day-to-day life. Most of the time, teens cope with these pressures and retain a sense of well-being. However, any teen can potentially become overwhelmed by the demands of their current situation. When this happens, the result is sometimes a mental health crisis. Crisis intervention for teens in trouble is essential. But what kind of intervention is needed? The answer to this question depends on the severity of your child’s crisis situation. Contact Imagine Spokane today at 509.870.3810 for more information.

What Is a Teen Mental Health Crisis?

What exactly is a mental health crisis? Experts use this term to describe any change in mood or behavior that exposes your child to severe negative outcomes. Such outcomes may include self-harm. They may also include harm to others. In addition, your child may experience extreme, unpredictable thoughts and/or behaviors.

Signs of a Mental Health Crisis

How can you tell if such a situation is occurring? The specific warning signs of a mental health crisis may vary from person to person. However, some of the most common signs include the following:

  • Talking about committing suicide or harming someone else
  • Taking part in forms of self-harm such as burning or cutting the skin
  • Engaging in violent or aggressive behavior
  • Destroying property
  • Cutting off contact with family and/or friends

A teen experiencing a mental health crisis may also hallucinate, become paranoid or display delusional thinking.

Handling a Crisis That Poses an Immediate Danger

Teen mental health crises sometimes pose an immediate threat to safety and well-being. This

threat may put your own child’s life at risk. It may also endanger the lives of others.

All such situations are emergencies that require prompt, effective action. Experts recommend any of three potential responses. The first option is to call 911. As an alternative, you may want to consider calling a local crisis hotline. The third option is to take your child to the emergency room that’s closest to your current location.

If you call 911, it’s important to let them know that a crisis is occurring. It’s also important to provide details on the nature of your teen’s situation. Today, many emergency systems have on-staff crisis experts. These experts have specialized intervention training, and their help can be invaluable. A dedicated crisis hotline should be able to provide the same high level of support.

Handling a Crisis That Doesn’t Pose an Immediate Risk

Not every teen mental health crisis poses an immediate danger to your child or someone else. Instead, your teen’s situation may be less dire. As a result, you may have time to consider taking other kinds of actions. The list of these possible actions includes:

  • Talking to your teen in a reassuring, supportive manner
  • Actively listening to them and asking relevant questions
  • Contacting your child’s recovery team if they’re already receiving treatment
  • Consulting a mental health professional if your child isn’t currently in treatment
  • Reaching out to a phone- or text-based crisis intervention resource

Only choose these options if you’re sure that no immediate danger is present. If in doubt, seek emergency help right away.

Get More Information on Responding to a Teen Mental Health Crisis at Imagine Spokane

Any parent can benefit from knowing in advance how to respond to a teen’s mental health crisis. To learn more, talk to the mental health professionals at Imagine Spokane. We can help you create a detailed plan of response for any crisis that may arise.

Imagine Spokane is also your source for high-quality teen mental health care. We’re dedicated to providing effective, accessible treatment options for adolescents from all walks of life. Just call us today at 509.870.3810 or complete our online contact form.