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Helping Someone in Immediate Crisis

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week in the US. Do you know what to do if someone is in an immediate crisis?

What should you do if someone is in crisis?

1. Take them seriously and do not be judgemental.

2. Do not leave them alone.

3. Talk to them and try to agree on a recovery action plan. Ask if they already have one.

4. Remove means of self-harm (if applicable)

5. If a recovery action plan is agreed upon, follow that. If not, ring emergency services.

6. If a person has already harmed themselves, ring emergency services.

*A recovery action plan can be made during a crisis or ahead of time with friends and family. It is also called a Wellness Recovery Action Plan.

What is a Wellness Recovery Action Plan?

Light yellow graphic, text reads Suicide Prevention Week, Helping Someone in Crisis - A Recovery Action Plan. All text in post.

It's a list of things to do if a person is feeling suicidal. It can be made during a crisis or ahead of time.

Examples of a recovery action plan include:

  • Removing all instruments of self-harm ahead of time.

  • Ringing a therapist, psychiatrist, or another mental health professional

  • Ringing family or friends that can be supportive

  • Ringing crisis numbers/hotlines or mental health charities.

  • Going to a walk-in crisis centre

  • Ringing emergency services.

The U.S. Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255, or text HOME to 741741
For non-U.S. followers, you can find your country's hotline via or find a hotline, text line or webchat via
To find a dedicated crisis centre you can go it shows crisis centres worldwide.


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