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Code of conduct for managing emergency situations

Mental illness is not automatically associated with crisis, but to avoid being unprepared for this type of situation, it’s a good idea to take preventive measures and plan the steps you may need to take.

  1. Make a list of useful phone numbers in the event of a crisis, including numbers for the police, your loved one’s physician and/or psychiatrist, CAP santé mentale member affiliates in your area and the health care facility where your loved one might be hospitalized.
  2. Ask your loved one’s physician or psychiatrist in advance which hospital to go to in case of an emergency.
  3. Determine which family members and friends your loved one is most likely to confide in.
  4. Think of people you can call for help, no matter what time of day or night it is.
  5. If you or your loved one have children, plan for someone to look after them.
  6. Consider explaining the situation to your local police department in advance for advice on what to do in an emergency.
  7. Remember that your loved one may be less frightened during a crisis if the emergency plan has been explained to them and they know what to expect.

Here are a few ways to do this that will guide you in your process :

  1. Stay as calm as possible
  2. Eliminate distractions (radio, television, etc.)
  3. Talk one person at a time
  4. Comment on the behaviour you are observing (e.g., you are scared, confused, etc.)
  5. Avoid taking an authoritarian tone and do not shout
  6. Use the same words to repeat your questions, as necessary
  7. Give the person space. It’s important to understand that if you get too emotional, you may amplify the agitation your loved one is experiencing. Always remember that you can get support and advice from a CAP santé mentale member affiliate.

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