Even if you feel confident that you are stable in recovery, you must have a plan in case you find yourself spiraling. A crisis plan can help you when you’re close to relapse or in a mental health crisis. This article will teach you how to plan for the worst.
Why You Need a Crisis Plan
If you have ever had a mental health crisis where you wished you could have managed it better, then you probably need to form a crisis plan. A crisis plan could refer to how you plan to handle a situation where you need immediate mental health support; this can also apply to someone who might need help for a relapse.
One of the many signs a person could be on the verge of a mental health crisis is using drugs or alcohol more frequently than usual. Since mental health and addiction are so intertwined, it’s common for mental health crises to lead to relapse.
A crisis plan can help you create a system for when things become bad for you, and you’ve lost all logical thinking. There aren’t any rules for creating a plan because they depend on the individual’s needs, but there are plenty of suggestions for what your plan might need. Your plan doesn’t need to follow any strict structure, but it should meet your individual needs.
Think About What You Wished You Did Last Time
When you start to brainstorm your crisis plan, think of your last mental health crisis or relapse.
- What do you wish happened instead?
- What resources do you wish you had?
- What symptoms and behaviors were present?
- Were there early warning signs?
Once you’ve reflected, you can begin to compile helpful information that would be beneficial to have at your disposal.
Compile Your Resources
Once you have all of these resources compiled, have them somewhere you or a loved one can access them. These could include phone numbers for therapists, addiction centers, helplines, and hotlines. These could also include many people in your support system. Talk to a mental health care professional about resources you should consider.
Helpful resources that might pertain to your circumstance include:
- SAMHSA Helpline (1-800-662-4357)
- Veteran Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255)
- Crisis Text Line (Text HOME to 741741)
- Suicide LifeLine (1-800-273-8255)
- Trans Lifeline (1-877-565-8860)
- The Trevor Project (1-866-488-7386)
Consider Your Medical History
The additional information you’ll need a record of includes any allergies or reactions you might have to medicine, as well as any previous medical conditions, prior illnesses, and procedures. You will want to include the number to a primary care practitioner, the hospital you prefer, whether or not you are comfortable with an ambulance, and whether you are comfortable contacting emergency services if a crisis intervention team is available instead.
It is also a good idea to include insurance information and a list of emergency contacts. You should also have information about current diagnoses, medications prescribed and dosage, and anything else you might be taking, such as supplements or recreational drugs.
Build Your Support Team
Your team should consist of people you could count on in the event of a crisis. It might include friends, family, sponsors, and therapists. These are people who care about your sobriety and mental wellness.
Include your support team’s contact information, what times you can reach them, and how they can help you. Consider sending your support system a copy of your crisis plan. Inform these people of your plan and the warning signs that you might be on the verge of crisis. Make sure they’re aware of what to expect and what steps they should take to help you in the event of a crisis.
Know Your Warning Signs
Before spiraling into a crisis, the more you’re aware of your mental health state, the more you are likely to mitigate its effects. Common signs of an impending mental health crisis might include sudden and intense changes in mood, inability to perform daily tasks, increase in anger or violence, as well as the increased usage of alcohol and drugs.
Include a Post-crisis Plan
The time after a relapse or a mental health crisis can be difficult and might need an additional plan. After you’ve experienced a relapse or a mental health crisis, you’ll need a strategy for assessing the damages and getting back on track. If you’re concerned about a relapse, you must enter a detox program and begin treatment as soon as possible. Remember, relapse is not failure; it is an opportunity to reinforce your recovery plans and goals.
A crisis can come when you least expect it. Creating a crisis plan can be a lifesaver when things feel out of control. Your crisis plan doesn’t need to fit a template, but with these suggestions, you can be well on your way to creating a plan that fits your needs. Having a plan of action can help mitigate disaster if you find yourself spiraling. Your plan works to keep you as well as your loved ones safe. With the help of your support system and the resources you’ve compiled, you’ll be able to navigate through your worst-case scenario. Cornerstone Healing Center offers one-on-one and family counseling to those who need it. Our counselors can provide you or your loved one with support in creating a crisis plan, as well as a plan that can include and protect the entire family. If you would like to learn more about developing your plan, call us today at (800) 643-2108.