Sometimes families or caregivers see changes in a child’s behavior that may indicate a crisis may be developing; while other times the crisis occurs suddenly and without warning.
You may be able to de-escalate or prevent a crisis from happening by identifying early changes in your child’s behavior, such as an unusual reaction to daily tasks or an increase in their stress level.
Families may want to keep a journal or calendar documenting what happened right before the behaviors that are of concern. A sample journal is included in the back of this booklet.
Here are some warning signs of a mental health crisis:
Unable to cope with daily tasks
Rapid mood swings
Displays abusive behavior
Loses touch with reality (psychosis)
Isolation from school, work, family, friends
Unexplained physical symptoms
What are the Warning Signs of Suicide?
Any of the following may be warning signs for suicide:
How to respond:
If you think your child or another youth may need help right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) OR TEXT “MN” TO 741741 OR CALL **CRISIS or *274747. Your call is free and confidential. Trained crisis workers in your area can assist you and the child in deciding what they need right now.
Research by: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE); American Association for Suicidology (AAS); Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) and National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide 2015.
Learn more by reading NAMI Minnesota's "Mental Health Crisis Planning for Children" booklet.