How Do You Know if It’s a Mental Health Crisis?

There is no universal list of qualities that show you are in a mental health crisis, because every person is different. So basically, if you think it’s possible that you or someone you know may be in distress, you should seek help immediately. That’s what 988 is here for – to help you de-escalate and stabilize in the midst of a mental health emergency.

With that said, there are some warning signs you can watch out for that could indicate a mental health crisis. Call 988 if you or someone you know are experiencing:

  • Trouble with daily tasks like bathing, brushing teeth, and changing clothes
  • Sudden, extreme changes in mood
  • Increased agitation
  • Abusive behavior to self and others, including substance use or self-harm
  • Isolation
  • Symptoms of psychosis, like difficulty recognizing family or friends, hearing voices, and/or seeing things that aren’t there
  • Paranoia

Along with mental distress in general, there are some behaviors that may indicate a person is at immediate risk for suicide. Call 988 or contact a mental health professional ASAP if you or someone you know are:

  • Talking about wanting to die or die by suicide
  • Looking for a way to die by suicide, such as searching online or obtaining a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live

There are also signs that you’re at potential risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know are feeling trapped or in unbearable pain, feeling like a burden to others, increasing substance use, sleeping or isolating excessively, feeling rage or the need for revenge — all of these are serious signs that you should reach out for help. 988 is here for you.

If you’re not sure if you or someone you know are experiencing a mental crisis, don’t take chances. Call 988 to talk to a trained mental crisis worker.

Virginia is here to help.