Seeking help?

Important: If you believe you have a psychiatric or medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.  Do not attempt to access emergency care through this website.

Resources

  • Suicide Prevention Hotline: 877-7-CRISIS or 877-727-4747
  • Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s 24/7 ACCESS line:  1-877-845-7771 (24 Hour Bilingual.)Provides free confidential mental health information, referrals to service providers and crisis counseling at any time.
  • NAMI (National Institute for the Mentally Ill).  NAMI has 1,200 state and local affiliates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and Canada. They understand your situation. NAMI offers support, education, advocacy and research.
    It is a great source for immediate information (http://www.nami.org).  You can also contact your local chapter for help or call the helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST.
  • Tips for Handling a Schizophrenia Crisis
    • Remember that you cannot reason with acute psychosis.
    • Remember that the person may be terrified by his/her own feelings of loss of control.
    • Do not express irritation or anger.
    • Do not shout.
    • Do not use sarcasm as a weapon.
    • Decrease distractions (turn off the TV, radio, fluorescent lights that hum, etc.).
    • Ask any casual visitors to leave—the fewer people the better.
    • Avoid direct continuous eye contact.
    • Avoid touching the person.
    • Sit down and ask the person to sit down also.

    Source: World Fellowship for Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders

  • Living with a person with mental illness can leave you feeling drained and helpless. 
    You may wish to seek professional support from your family physician.

 

Recognizing Early Warning Signs of Mental Illness

Major mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder rarely appear “out of the blue.”  Most often, family, friends, teachers or individuals themselves recognize that “something is not quite right” about their thinking, feelings, or behavior before one of these illnesses appears in its full-blown form.  If several of the following are occurring, a serious condition may be developing.

  • Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in others
  • An unusual drop in functioning, especially at school or work, such as quitting sports, failing in school, or difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Problems with concentration, memory, or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain
  • Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations
  • Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity; apathy
  • A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality
  • Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings or influence events; illogical or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in an adult
  • Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling
  • Uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior
  • Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or deterioration in personal hygiene
  • Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings or “mood swings”

One or two of these symptoms can’t predict a mental illness.  But a person experiencing several together that are causing serious problems in his or her ability to study, work, or relate to others should be seen by a mental health professional.  If you feel you or a loved one needs help, contact your primary care physician or medical services provider. 

Adopted from the American Psychiatric Association website:  www.psychiatry.org