Crisis Intervention

Glossary of Terms: Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention refers to the methods used to offer immediate, short-term help to individuals who experience an event that produces emotional, mental, physical, and behavioral distress or problems. The purpose of a crisis intervention is to reduce the intensity of an individual’s emotional, mental, physical, and behavioral reactions to a crisis.  Another purpose is to help individuals return to their level of functioning before the crisis.  Functioning may be improved above and beyond by developing new coping skills and eliminating ineffective ways of coping.   Learn about the Crisis Stabilization Services offered by Guild Incorporated.

Crisis Teams are available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Teams are made up of mental health professionals who can travel to the individual’s location and assess the situation.  They help the individual through the crisis by providing stabilization services, intervention services, crisis prevention planning, referral to other professionals (including rapid access to psychiatrists in some areas) and follow-up services.  Learn more about crisis teams and how to reach them.  If you or a family member is experiencing a crisis and need help now, check our listing of crisis resources.

Civil Commitment is mental health or chemical health treatment that is court ordered.  Civil commitment becomes necessary when someone is a danger to themselves or others as a result of mental illness, chemical dependence, or other disease of the brain.  A person is considered a danger when they:  exhibit suicidal activity, make threats toward others, damage property, or demonstrate an inability to provide basic needs such as food, shelter, or seek medical care. 

Civil commitment is a legal process.  Because it involves taking away a person’s civil liberties and limits their rights in regard to mental and chemical health treatment, it is done only in rare circumstances.  All efforts are made to treat people on a voluntary basis whenever possible.  Learn more about civil commitment and initial steps to take when a loved one is in crisis


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