When depression turns into a crisis, it can be scary. It’s critical to know how to respond.
It can be hard to see a loved one struggle with depression, even when depression is managed. When depression is not managed, and has turned into a crisis, it can be very scary. It’s critical to know how to respond, especially during a global pandemic.
You may feel ill-equipped to help. You might not know what to say or what to do. You might feel powerless. But you can help. You might save a life.
Depression is always serious. So, what’s a crisis?
A crisis is when someone is at risk of hurting themselves or someone else. How do you know? There are a few signs that someone might be in crisis.
Start a conversation if you think someone might be considering suicide. Talking can help you to understand how serious the situation is. Assume you’re the only person who will reach out for help. Don’t assume that others will and that you can wait for them to do it instead of you.
It’s OK if you feel nervous. Try to speak calmly and with a reassuring tone. Tell the person that you’re concerned for their well-being and that you’re there to help.
Call for help immediately if you think a person is at risk of hurting themselves or another person. You don’t have to handle a crisis alone.
Take what they’re telling you seriously. Stay with the person. Remove any means of potential harm. Call for help and consider escorting them to an emergency room if necessary.
It can be scary to take the first step if someone you love is going through a mental health crisis. Know that you have backup. You can save a life by connecting a person to the help they need.
If you feel overwhelmed and have thoughts of hurting yourself, call 911. For support and resources, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text 741741 for the Crisis Text Line.
For more information on how to manage depression, reach out to your doctor or healthcare team.
NPS-US-NP-00604 May 2021
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