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NAMI’s Mental Health Crisis Guide – Introduction

Have answers ready when you need them:

Like any other health crisis, it’s important to address a mental health emergency quickly and effectively. With mental health conditions, crises can be difficult to predict because often there are no warning signs. Crises can occur even when treatment plans have been followed and mental health professionals are involved. Unfortunately, unpredictability is the nature of mental illness.

Unlike other health crises, mental health emergencies often don’t come with instructions on what to expect after the crises. This guide can help provide answers and information when its needed most.

Where to get help during a mental health crisis in Sonoma County:

Call 911
Police officers, EMTs and County mental health workers provide 24/7 support when individuals behave in an unsafe matter. While this is one of the hardest things a family may have to do, the more information you can provide, the better equipped they will be to negotiate a favorable outcome. Make the call away from the distressed individual. Speak calmly to the dispatcher. Explain why the person is in danger. Keep yourself safe. Stay on the line.

Sonoma County Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU)
226 Challenger Way, Santa Rosa CA 95407
Provides 24/7 crisis assessment, intervention, medication and up to 23 hours of supportive care for children, youth and adults in acute mental crisis.

NorthBay Suicide Prevention Hotline
Provides 24/7 confidential resources for individuals experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts.

Warning signs of a mental health crisis:

Inability to perform daily tasks
Rapid mood swings
Increased agitation
Abusive behavior
Loses touch with reality (psychosis)

Warning signs of suicide:

Giving away personal possessions
Saying goodbye

Stockpiling pills or obtaining a weapon
Preoccupation with death
Sudden cheerfulness or calm after despondence
Dramatic changes in mood or personality
Increased drug or alcohol use
Saying thinks like, “You’ll be better off without me”
Withdrawal from friends, family and normal activities
Sense of utter hopelessness
History of suicide attempts or self-harming behaviors
History of family/friend suicide or at tempts






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