Recognizing when your teen is experiencing a mental health crisis can be challenging. Parents often question the difference between a bad day, a phase, or something more profound. The best advice is to trust your intuition or gut instinct. It can be frightening to witness your teen experience an emotional breakdown. You may feel like you do not know what to do, especially when your efforts to help only exacerbate the situation.
Often, the best thing to do is to keep them safe until they can calm down and communicate better. However, more immediate action is required when teens cannot regulate their emotions, exhibit out-of-control behaviors, or risk hurting themselves or others. When emergency services are necessary, you should not hesitate to call 911.
Signs You Need Help from Teen Crisis Intervention
A mental health crisis is when your teen is at risk of harming themselves or others, or their extreme behaviors and emotions seem out of control. Signs your teen need is experiencing a mental health crisis can include:
- Rapid or intense mood swings
- Frequent crying for no apparent reason
- Significant changes in eating, sleeping, and hygiene habits
- Confused thinking, irrational thoughts, or memory loss
- Social withdrawal from friends or isolation from family members
- Self-harm or escalating self-destructive behaviors
- Experiencing hallucinations or delusions
- Expressing suicidal thoughts
- Threats to harm themselves or others
- Severe aggression, hostility, or agitation
- Property destruction or physical aggression
When you suspect your teen is in crisis, how you respond depends on whether they or others are in immediate danger of harm and what your community resources are. Even if there is no immediate danger, a mental health crisis is an urgent matter that needs to be addressed. Letting it go simply because your teen has calmed down can lead to worsening symptoms and a more dangerous situation.
What Happens in Crisis Intervention for Teens?
The main goal of crisis intervention is to provide stabilization of symptoms. Certified mental health professionals conduct a thorough intake and assessment to identify the causes of the crisis and develop an individualized treatment plan to address these issues.
Other goals of crisis intervention for teens include the following:
- Reducing the intensity of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors related to the crisis
- Fostering the return of pre-crisis functioning
- Helping teens identify triggers
- Promoting the development of coping and problem-solving skills
- Teaching emotional self-regulation
- Teaching prevention strategies for self-harm
- Building self-awareness and self-confidence
- Providing family therapy and support
Through crisis intervention, teens learn to replace maladaptive coping skills such as substance abuse, isolation, and withdrawal from friends and family with healthier alternatives. They also learn anger management skills and relapse prevention.
Crisis intervention for teens is not an end-all answer but the first step in stabilizing emotions and behaviors so teens are ready to identify and address the underlying roots of their issues and challenges. Crisis intervention also helps teens identify their strengths and how to implement them to prevent future crises.
Learn More About Teen Crisis Intervention at Imagine Nampa
Imagine Nampa provides mental health treatment, including crisis intervention, to Idaho teens ages twelve to seventeen. Our trauma-informed, evidence-based, holistic approach teaches teens how to cope with daily life challenges in healthy ways while eliminating their reliance on maladaptive coping mechanisms.
Along with teen crisis intervention, we provide:
- Mental health counseling and intervention
- Psychiatric and nursing care
- Individual counseling
- Family therapy
- Group therapy with peers
- Family healing and support groups
- Grief and loss therapy
- Co-occurring disorders treatment
If your teen is experiencing a mental health crisis, help is available. Ignoring or dismissing the signs and symptoms of a crisis will only worsen mental health symptoms and lead to more complex issues, including substance abuse, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Reach out to Imagine Nampa today at 208.203.8574 or via our online contact form to learn more about teen crisis intervention.