Mental Health Crisis

How to help when someone experiences a mental health crisis

When caring for someone with a mental illness, there may be times when their health deteriorates to a point that immediate support is required. This may be because they have developed suicidal thoughts or are perhaps so agitated that they may be a risk to others. When this occurs, it is best to contact a specialist service that is able to assess the situation and help you to decide on the best course of action.

If the person you are caring for agrees, you can attend the emergency department of your local hospital. However, there are times when the person affected might not agree there is any risk, or might not be willing to reach out for help. When this occurs you can contact the local Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team (CATT) through the closest major public hospital. In some parts of Australia they are called Psychiatric Emergency Teams (PET).

The CATT/ PET is a multi-disciplinary team with Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Social workers and Nurses who provide assessment and support for people who are in crisis with mental illness. Their phone lines are staffed 24 hours a day.

To find your local CATT or PET team, ring your closest major public hospital.