What to do in a mental health emergency

Emergency care physicians and nurses are trained to respond appropriately to patients experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental health disorders require emergency care when the patients are at risk of harming themselves or other people. A common example is suicide attempts or talking about committing suicide. If your loved one exhibits signs of a possible mental health crisis, you can rest assured that the emergency care providers at MountainView Hospital are available 24/7 to provide compassionate, sensitive care.

Recognizing mental health crises
Attempted suicide isn’t the only mental health crisis that requires emergency care. Individuals experiencing psychosis also require immediate help. Some indications of a mental health crisis include:

  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Extreme agitation or aggression
  • Threats of homicidal intentions

Going to the ER
When a person is in the midst of a mental health crisis, it isn’t always possible to convince him or her to get in a car and go to the ER. And in some cases, attempting to get a person to the ER may place the bystander at risk of harm.

But if it is possible to safely drive a patient to the ER, it’s the best place for him or her to go during a crisis event. Patients themselves will likely be too distressed to drive themselves, even when they’re willing to get emergency care.

Calling 911
If there are any doubts about someone’s immediate safety, or if it’s impossible to get the patient to the ER, it’s time to call 911. The dispatcher can give you some guidance on steps you can take while awaiting emergency responders.

For example, you may be asked to consider whether the patient could have access to substances of abuse, firearms, knives and any other potential tools for self-harm. If it’s safe for you to do so, you can eliminate the patient’s access to these items.

The safety and well-being of our patients are our highest priorities here at MountainView Hospital . Our highly trained emergency care providers are committed to providing top-quality care to families throughout our Las Vegas community. Please direct medical emergencies to a 911 dispatcher, but non-emergent questions can be directed to a registered nurse at (702) 962-5021.

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