Recognizing that your child is experiencing a mental health crisis can be difficult. You may not be sure what constitutes a crisis situation versus a bad day. This resource will help determine that difference and what to do if your child is in crisis.
What Is A Crisis?
A mental health crisis is when your child is at risk of harming themselves or others, or if their emotions and behavior seem extreme and out of control. Warning signs of a mental health crisis may include:
- Expressing suicidal thoughts.
- Making threats to harm others or themselves.
- Self-harm behavior, such as cutting or burning.
- Severe agitation and aggression, physical aggression, destruction of property, hostility, etc.
- Hallucinations or delusions.
- Isolating themselves from friends and family.
How To Take Action
Once you determine your child is in crisis, how you proceed depends on whether they are in immediate danger and the resources available in your community.
If you feel that your child’s or someone else’s life is in danger, this is an emergency. You must take immediate action to keep everyone safe. Under no circumstances should you leave them alone. Call 911 or the Seven Counties Services 24/7 Child Crisis Line at (502) 589-8070.
In conjunction with our 24/7 Crisis Line, Seven Counties Services provides the Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU), an intensive, short-term inpatient program for children ages 3 to 18. This program is for children experiencing urgent crises and requiring intervention beyond outpatient treatment. Unlike a traditional hospital setting, the CSU offers a home-like environment for children and provides caretakers with safety planning to ensure a safe transition back home after the program. Learn more about the CSU.
No Immediate Danger
If you are confident your child is not at immediate risk, but they are displaying any of the warning signs, you should still contact the 24/7 Child Crisis Line. Remember that even if it’s not a physical emergency, it is still an urgent situation that should be addressed as quickly as possible.
Steps you can take to support your child when not at immediate risk include creating a safe space for them to talk about their feelings. Make sure to actively listen and reassure them that you are there to support and help. Additionally, if your child is already receiving mental health treatment, contact their psychiatrist or therapist. They can provide guidance on what to do next. If your child is not currently receiving treatment, they will need a mental health assessment. Our team of phone counselors will make getting this set up a seamless, easy process.
At Seven Counties Services, our programs and services are provided by some of Kentucky’s most qualified and caring pediatric and psychiatric professionals who will work with you and your family to determine the right course of action. If your child has been diagnosed with a mental health disorder or is experiencing one or more signs and symptoms, please contact us today to start their recovery journey.