Seeing someone experiencing a mental health crisis can be really scary, but knowing what to do in a mental health emergency is really important and could save someone's life.
1) Remain calm.
2) If it is safe to approach, do so. If not, you may have to call the emergency services straight away.
3) Calmly tell the person your name, that you are there to help, and ask them if they’re happy to tell you theirs.
4) Ask for help from anyone around if possible.
5) If there are signs of physical injury, or the person is unresponsive, or looks unwell, then consider starting the process for physical first aid - call out for help, call 999, start basic life support (if qualified and necessary), and stay with them until help arrives.
6) Otherwise, try to engage them in conversation. It doesn’t really matter what you chat about. You can also ask, are you OK?
Do you need help?
What can I do to help you?
Can I call someone for you?
Have you ever felt this way before?
7) If possible, get them to a safe space away from potential danger or harm. They may be more likely to move away with you if you are able to establish a line of dialogue. This can be about any general stuff you’re happy to talk about.
8) Either take them to a health facility (e.g. A&E) if appropriate, or call the emergency services and stay with them until help arrives.
9) Give the emergency services any information that you manage to obtain.
10) Unless the person is in imminent physical danger to themselves or someone else, be very careful about physical contact or restraint - some people may feel worse if you make contact.