Emergency Procedures: Health or Mental Health Emergency

For life threatening emergencies, call 911. 

A mental health emergency is a life threatening situation in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function, or is otherwise distraught and out of control.

Examples of a Mental Health Emergency include:

  • Acting on a suicide threat
  • Homicidal or threatening behavior
  • Self-injury needing immediate medical attention
  • Severely impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Highly erratic or unusual behavior that indicates very unpredictable behavior and/or an inability to care for themselves.

Suggestions for What to Do in Case of a Mental Health Emergency-Call 911.

Mental Health Crisis

A mental health crisis is a non-life threatening situation in which an individual is exhibiting extreme emotional disturbance or behavioral distress, considering harm to self or others, disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a compromised ability to function, or is otherwise agitated and unable to be calmed.

Examples of a Mental Health Crisis include:

  • Talking about suicide threats
  • Talking about threatening behavior
  • Self-injury, but not needing immediate medical attention
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Highly erratic or unusual behavior
  • Eating disorders
  • Not taking their prescribed psychiatric medications
  • Emotionally distraught, very depressed, angry or anxious

Suggestions for What to Do in Case of a Mental Health Crisis

Help is available from the Colorado Department of Human Services at (303) 761-1977.

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