What to Do in an
(Source: NAMI San Francisco)
into the phone or at arriving officers or medical professionals.
They can't understand you if you shout.
On the Phone
Be ready to give
concrete examples of the dangerous behaviors and to support your
contention that the person is mentally ill. For example, say,
"My daughter pulled a knife" as opposed to "My daughter wants to
State over the phone the following information and be ready to
repeat it to arriving police officers and/or medical
Family member's name.
That the person is mentally ill and give the diagnosis.
State whether medications are being used, whether it was
stopped and when was the last time the meds were taken.
Describe what your family member is doing now.
Say whether you feel threatened.
Say whether your family member is hearing voices or fears
Say whether a weapon is in the house --- to minimize further
agitation, remove any guns from the house before the police
Say where inside the house is your family member
Say whether there is a history
arrive, STAY CALM
Be polite, respectful,
reassuring, low-key and direct with your family member.
Maintain on-going communication directly with the person and
do not include others in side conversations.
Do not try to trick or deceive your family member.
Avoid immediately moving in close or touching the person
Remove all objects with which a
person may do harm to self or others.
Have all the lights on inside
Carry nothing in your hands especially coming outside to meet
them, in which case walk, don't run to meet them.
Be prepared to repeat the information you gave over the phone.
State whether there is a history of suicide attempts.
State whether your family member is violent or delusional.
Have treating psychiatrist's
phone number handy.