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The 5-Step Crisis Plan

If you’re struggling with your mental health, we encourage you to talk to someone. It can be the first crucial step to reaching out for help and support. It can also be the start of long-term recovery and healing.  

We know that when you reach crisis point it’s not easy to think straight or even consider your future.  For times like these we’ve created an easy to follow 5-step plan

It’s a blueprint for people who reach crisis and want help but aren’t sure where to turn or know what help is available. It is essential that we get the message out to everyone that there IS help out there and things CAN change for the better. It is critical that people know how to find the help they need and to not be afraid to ask for it 

 If you reach a crisis:

  1. REACH OUT TO STAY SAFE – Tell someone you are feeling overwhelmed, ashamed or hopeless. Phone a trusted friend, or speak with a family member, colleague or mental health professional. Make it known that you’re not okay – this simple act of talking will help release the immense pressure of carrying this burden alone. Call the Samaritans free on 116 123, they operate around the clock every day of the year. You can also email them at jo@samaritans.org 
  1. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP – Let your GP know about your situation and ask for advice from relevant organisations (such as housing or gambling) – they WILL be able to help you. We have a comprehensive list of support organisations on their website, organised by subject. If your problems are affecting your mental health call the NHS Connection phone line.  Connection is a 24/7 phone helpline for people of all ages in Dorset who are experiencing mental health issues. Call 111 and select ‘mental health’ or dial 0300 1235440 to access support as part of the Dorset Crisis Response Service. 
  1. MAKE A SIMPLE PLAN – Ignoring your situation won’t make it go away. Taking just some simple first steps can help to break a cycle of difficult or overwhelming thinking. Ask for help with this from a family member, a mate or a parent. Or organisations like the Citizen’s Advice Bureau  or Step Change can help you if your problems seem unsurmountable to tackle alone. Prioritise the most important things that will keep you and your loved ones safe.   
  1. MAKE YOUR WELLBEING A PRIORITY – You might not think this is important, but it is. Your family, friends, colleagues and loved ones need you. Take small steps to rebuild your resilience the best you can. Start by making an appointment with your doctor, see a counsellor, a specialist or attend a support group. Take advantage of your Employee Assistance Programmes in your workplace if you have one. The 5 Ways to Wellbeing concept is a good tool to put things in place to help you to rebuild your resilience. Making one or two changes can make a big difference. 
  1. KEEP TALKING – in whatever form, and to whoever you feel comfortable, keep talking about how you feel. The simple act of talking will continue to help you process feelings and help you plan for the future. It will also help you release and dissipate negative, difficult or overwhelming feelings. 

Further support:

Dorset Mind offers a range of support across Dorset for adults; and young people under our Dorset Mind Your Head programme; and a wealth of information and signposting – please follow the links if you need support.

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