Do's and Don'ts in a Crisis - NAMI - Greater Des Moines
Do's and Don'ts in a Crisis - NAMI - Greater Des Moines
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Do's and Don'ts in a Crisis

Communicating with Someone in Crisis Who Has a Psychiatric Illness and Community Resources

DO - DO - DO

  • SLOW DOWN.
  • GIVE THEM SPACE. Don't make them feel trapped.
  • BE CALM. Express support and concern.
  • SPEAK SLOWLY AND SOFTLY.
  • USE SHORT, SIMPLE SENTENCES.
  • AVOID sudden or quick movements.
  • BE HELPFUL. Respond to basic needs. Be low key.
  • "We are all here to help."
  • GIVE FIRM, CLEAR DIRECTIONS; One person should talk to the subject
  • RESPOND TO DELUSIONS OR HALLUCINATIONS by talking about the person's feelings rather than what he or she is saying.
  • LISTEN to their story
  • EXPLAIN POLICY, especially if handcuffed.

DON'T - DON'T - DON'T

  • TAKE CONTROL if you don't have to.
  • ARGUE or reason with psychotic thinking.
  • STARE at the subject.
  • CONFUSE THE SUBJECT. One person should interact with the subject. Ask casual observers to leave. Follow through with directions or commands
  • TOUCH THE SUBJECT UNLESS NECESSARY. For people with mental illnesses it ay cause fear and lead to violence.
  • SHOUT.
  • GIVE THEM MULTIPLE CHOICES. This can increase the subjects confusion.
  • WHISPER, JOKE OR LAUGH.
  • DECEIVE the subject. Dishonesty increases fear and suspicion; the subject will likely remember it in any subsequent contact.
  • DON'T ARREST A PERSON FOR MENTALLY ILL BEHAVIOR NOT CRIMINAL IN NATURE.
  • JOIN into behavior related to the person's mental illness
  • If a person has to be restrained, DON'T HOGTIE. Immediately raise him/her from prone into sitting position, monitor vital signs, and call for medical aid.

Wallet size Do's and Don'ts cards (with the above information) are available from NAMI Greater Des Moines office at 511 E. 6th St., Suite B, Des Moines (in the East Village)

Iowa and National Help Lines and Hot Lines - click here

Suicide Prevention Lifeline  1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Veterans Suicide Prevention Lifeline  1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Drug and Alcohol Help Line  1-866-242-4111
All are available 24 hours/day- 7 days/week

NAMI Information Help Line  1-800-950-NAMI (6264) - open during business hours M-F

Learning about Mental Conditions and the Risk of Suicide

Learning More About Mental Illness - a guide for responsible reporting on suicide for Journalists

Polk County Community Mental Health Centers
Child Guidance Center
808 5th Ave – 244-2267

Eyerly Ball Community Mental Health Center
1301 Center St. – 243-5181

Broadlawns Medical Center
1801 Hickman Road – 282-6770

Eyerly Ball Behavioral Health Resources
945 19th St – 241-0982

Primary Health Care & Behavioral Health
Engebretsen Clinic, 2353 SE 14th St. - 248-1400
The Outreach Project, 1200 University, Suite 105
         248-1500
East Side Center, 3509 East 29th St. - 248-1600
Primary Health Care Pharmacy, 1200 University
         Suite 103, 262-0854

Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center
8553 Urbandale Avenue, Urbandale 515-274-4006
Accepts all insurances, sliding scale for fees
On-site psychiatrist, PA and counseling staff

Free Mental Health Counseling in Spanish and English
At the Library at Grace United Methodist Church
               Wednesdays – 2 to 6 PM
For an Appointment:   Por favor contacte a Alicia Krpan, at 515-274-4006 ext. 143 – or –
Contact Nathan DeLange, L.I.S.W.,at 515-577-0190

Polk County Community
       Resource Guide

go to Visiting Nurse Service
       of Iowa website

      Dallas County Community
            Resource Guide

      go to Dallas County website

Polk County Mental Health Services
Polk County River Place
2309 Euclid Avenue, DM 
243-4545

www.pchsia.org

Central Iowa Community Services
1007 S. Jefferson, Indianola, IA 50125
515-961-1068 email:
mentalhealth@warrencountyia.org
website  

Dallas County Mental Health Services
25747 N Avenue, Suite D, Adel, IA 50003 
515-993-5869
Toll free:  877-286-3227
E-mail:  dccs@dallascountyiowa.gov
website

Dallas County Mental Health Center
Genesis Mental Health Services, 2111 Greene St., Adel Main office is at 610 10th St. in Perry 50220. Ph 515-465-7541. Fax 515-465-7636. Adel area patients should call the Perry number to be scheduled. We have an ARNP and therapists in Adel, and a psychiatrist--Dr. Fialkov--who comes to Perry

Madison County Mental Health Services
209 East Madison, Winterset, IA 50273 
515-462-2931
website

Madison County Mental Health Center
Crossroads Behavioral Health Services
102 West Summit Street, Winterset
515-462-3105

Go to the Visiting Nurses website www.vnsdm.org  click on "resources"  on the toolbar
– then click on Community Resource Directory for a complete list of resources in the community
Other VNS programming:  Behavior health intervention services for children 4 to 21
Adult peer support program, a  home visiting program
A family peer support program

Looking for Community Resources?
Phone 211   www.211Iowa.org
Iowa Compass - Disability Information and Referral www.iowacompass.org  1-800-779-2001

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