How Do I know when
it's an Emergency?
Families and friends sometimes have a
difficult time making the hard decision to phone for emergency help when a
family member or friend with a psychiatric disability is experiencing
severe symptoms. Sometimes the situation is clearly an emergency.
Other times, it's not so clear, especially when a person's psychiatric
disorder is emerging and/or family members and friends are inexperienced.
Here are some guidelines from NAMI-San
Francisco to help:
The situation is
an emergency when your family member or loved one is:
- Inflicting or attempting to inflict
serious bodily harm on another.
- Gravely disabled: unable to provide for
own food, clothing, shelter to the extent that death, bodily injury or
physical debilitation might result without treatment.
- Attempting suicide or behaving as though
he or she intends to follow through with verbal threats.
- Mutilating or attempting to mutilate
- Acutely distressed by hearing or seeing
things which do not exist.
- Expressing serious thoughts about hurting
themselves or someone else
- Experiencing uncontrollable anxiety or
- Having a severe reaction to psychiatric