Dealing With Crises

If you are currently experiencing a crisis and have the contact number for your local crisis team then contact them now. If not, you can take your relative to the local accident and emergency department. If this is not possible and you are worried that they or someone else is at risk of serious harm, call the police (to prevent dangerous behaviour) or an ambulance (to manage physical harm) on 999.

You may already have had to deal with a crisis associated with psychosis or bipolar disorder. Alternatively, you may be worried about a crisis that you think could occur and want to feel more prepared. This section is designed to highlight the kind of skills and strategies that will help you to deal with a crisis.

Crisis events are normal. They happen to everyone. They can happen at any time. They might include, for example:

  • Your central heating breaking down on Christmas Eve
  • Having your handbag stolen with all your credit cards inside
  • Your holiday company going bust the day before you are about to fly off for a dream holiday


Any of these events might strain your ability to cope with life.

Supporting someone with psychosis or bipolar disorder can expose you to additional unforeseen and unusual strains. These can be hard to manage.


Having a mental health problem can make a person more vulnerable to:

  • Self harm
  • Disorganised or unpredictable behaviour
  • Being a victim of crime or exploitation
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Homelessness
  • Self neglect
  • A sudden return of symptoms or illness

These can all have an impact on relatives and friends. This impact can sometimes be severe and require urgent action.

Watch Julie discuss her experience of a crisis from a mother’s perspective