Manage The Crisis

Be Prepared. Don’t Wait Until A Crisis Happens. (IGBATTMHO. ALL Rights Reserved 2021)

If you are a family member of someone with a mental illness or are living with the illness, prepare. Do not wait until the last minute to obtain phone numbers, information and support. Depending on the mental illness, we know that another episode is pending.
Develop a strategy and plan now. Calling the police for a mental health crisis should be the last thing you have to do.
No, we are not telling you to call the police but we are encouraging you to plan. If you were living with diabetes or hypertension, you would make sure that you took your medications and regularly checked your blood pressure levels. Why? Because you understand that you are living with an illness that must be managed. Well, just like any other illness, mental illnesses have to be managed. You have to pray, read your word, and fast. Depending on the symptoms, you will have to take your medications, manage your stress and develop a healthy support team. Plan. If you had to go to the hospital, start planning before you are discharged. When you first get your mental health diagnosis, begin to plan. When you see or experience an increase in symptoms, pay attention. Relapse does not just happen overnight. Relapse occurs over time.
Foundation of a Spiritual Preparation Plan
Identify your anchor scripture. What is the one scripture that gives you strength and hope? Take that scripture, write it on a piece of paper, and then place that paper somewhere you can see it. That scripture should be one that reminds you of the strength and power of God. Sometimes, when we are feeling depressed and can only see and feel the
depression, negative feelings make it easy to believe that we are useless and do not measure up. When your life feels difficult and alone with your thoughts, it is easy to become your worst enemy. How? With your ideas. You can start feeling like a burden, that people are against you, and you never do anything right. Identify your anchor scripture, and if needed, repeat it to yourself over and over again. When your negative thoughts and feelings talk to you, talk back to those thoughts and feelings with the Word of God. Your emotions can only tell you what it knows. But the Word of God is God’s word in written form, and it is the only thing that can speak to your past, present and future. Your anchor scripture is designed to encourage you and remind you that you are loved by a strong and might God.
Gather information. Gather information about your symptoms or those of a loved one. Ask?
1. What are you/loved one like before the symptoms become active?
2. What are your hobbies?
3. What things do you like to do when you are feeling good?
4. What is the diagnosis? What medications are you taking?
5. Where do you get the medications? What is the name of the Doctor and treatment team?
Begin to ask questions. Questions such as:
1. What pharmacy fills the prescriptions?
2. How would you get medicines in a crisis?
3. If you could not reach your doctor or treatment team in a crisis, who could you call?
4. Is there a crisis team in your area?
5. Are there police officers in your area who are trained in mental health response? (There are plenty in the US).
6. What strategies can you use to help yourself or your loved one before getting to the point where you need to call the police?
7. What are your or your loved one’s triggers?
8. What are the ongoing symptoms?
9. How do you or your loved one manage stress? How can you tell when you are becoming stressed? (Mental illness are made worse by stress)
10. Who will pay your bills if you are unable to do it? How are you going to pay the bills? (Direct deposit, friend, etc.)
11. If you are the caretaker, what would your loved one do if left alone? Do they have a phone number or person to call?
12. If there is a Crisis Team in your area, how do you reach them? What is the phone number? How do you reach them? What are their hours? (Crisis teams can respond in the place of or with the police. However, in dangerous situations, always call the police first.
13. What is the name of your loved one’s doctor or treatment team?
14. What medications are they on?
15. Does your pharmacist deliver?
16. Who are the supportive people in your circle? How can they help? Do they know what you expect from them?
Belive that Jesus Christ came that you might have life and life more abundantly. No illness can take away the love and purpose He has for our life. He is not limited by your illness. If you yield to the season that you are in while continuing to trust Him, He will not fail you. 

Assessment – After gathering information and asking questions, take an evaluation of the answers. Identify and list the weaknesses that you have uncovered. Assess what you need and what resources you have in place.

Talk to people in your community. God never meant for us to exist in a vacuum. To develop your plan, reach out to other people and ask questions. Pray and trust God but reach out to people. You are not alone in this. An excellent place to start is your local state mental health agency.