15 Ways You Can Help Someone in Crisis

Published 09/04/2019

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. What is one way to help someone who is in crisis?

"Listen to them. It can be as simple as that." - Jean L., Rhode Island

"If your very best friend in the world, whom you love dearly, told you they felt the way you do right now, what would you tell them to do? Do that thing." - Siobhan S., Delaware

"Whenever you believe someone is in a state of crisis it's important to remain calm and allow them to feel in as much control of the situation as possible." - Jennifer A., Massachusetts

"I would talk with them (offer support) and help with developing problem solving and conflict resolution skills" - Marylou B., Delaware

"The first thing that must be done is to make sure that the person in crisis is safe, as well as everyone around him/her. Then you must listen. Do not interject your personal experiences and/or advice. Just listen." - Ashley R., Maine

"When dealing with an individual in crisis it is important not to leave him/her alone and to try to get another individual to be alert in case of emergency. If you feel you cannot handle the crisis yourself, find a colleague or supervisor who can." - Michael P., Massachusetts

"Always be there to listen to them. Active listening is key. Sometimes they just want to be heard." - Jennifer L., Massachusetts

"A calming presence..." - Lori C., Rhode Island

"When a person in our care is in crisis it is often helpful to refer to pre-crisis/crisis plan to learn what interventions the individual has identified as being helpful in the past as well as what not to do." - Michael P., Massachusetts

"One way to help someone in crisis is to attempt de-escalation by providing privacy or removing any audience, while maintaining personal space, to decrease embarrassment or further agitation. This will facilitate his/her focus on you instead of the crowd and provide an opportunity for more effective communication and greater likelihood for resolution." - Angel L., Delaware

"For individuals who are in a crisis, it is good to recognize the potential for increasing harm. One effective way to help someone in crisis is to listen to the person and let them talk as much as they need to.  In doing this it allows the person in crisis to stabilize so that no further deterioration can occur. This also will give one time to provide the individual with a level of care needed which simply might mean calling a loved one." - Neal B., North Carolina

"A few of the most important things that you can do when someone that you know is in crisis is to encourage them to focus on the future, know your limitations and talk it out with them if they want to, and point out illogical thinking. If someone is in crisis they may not be thinking clearly and can use your help in identifying what is realistic and what is not. Most importantly, be a good listener." - Bethany J., Delaware

"I feel that being an active listener is important." - Sherri G., Maine

"I feel as though the best way to assist an individual who is experiencing a crisis is to display Carl Roger's core conditions. The individual needs to feel heard, understood and accepted by the person that they are speaking with. Without these conditions, a person will not feel as though their feelings were validated." - Summer P., Delaware

"Here at Fairwinds on Cape Cod we are fortunate enough to have a wonderful hotline and agency called the Samaritans on Cape Cod.  This group has a 24-hour hotline (508-548-8900) or (1-800-893-9900)." - Julie P., Massachusetts. For a list of 24-hour crisis services, click here

 The information listed above are the thoughts of individuals and does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of FHR.