Help for Someone I Care About

After the Crisis

After the Crisis

Make a Plan

After this crisis has passed, it is wise for you and your relative to make a plan for how to help things go better if there is another crisis.  Think about what may set off a crisis, warning signs, how to prepare and how to get support now for yourself and your relative.

How to prepare

No one wants to think about being in a mental health crisis but with mental illness, planning ahead can save lives and support recovery.

  1. Fill out a Portable Treatment Record with the person if possible. The best times are after a crisis has passed or when things are going well, NOT when a crisis is building. Keep the record where you can find it and update as needed.
  2. With the person’s permission, meet with them and their mental health team to complete the crisis plan section.
  3. Take notes if you think a crisis may be coming. Write what the person says and does that worries you. Note the time and date. File the notes and take the folder with you in a crisis.
  4. Be kind, loving and respectful to the person whenever you can. Keep listening. Build trust.
  5. Contact NAMI Tennessee, the state chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), to connect with local affiliates. 

Take heart: Good can come from crisis

A mental health crisis is stressful, but it may also open the way for recovery:

  • Problems may become clearer.
  • The person may get the treatment and supports they have needed.
  • The person may learn what triggers a crisis for them.
  • Family and friends may see the crisis as a cry for help and offer support.
  • Lessons learned may be included in a crisis plan.

    You can help the person connect with a peer support specialist, a trained mental health worker who is in recovery. Peer support specialists give hope, build trust, and show that recovery is possible.

    Contact the NAMI Tennessee Helpline, Monday to Friday (9AM to 5PM CT) for free support and information.