Mental Health Urgent Care

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Mental Health Urgent Care

When a loved one’s mental health crisis comes out of left field, you may be caught totally unprepared. In the throes of the crisis you wonder what to do? Where should you take them? Who should you call?

Mental health urgent care is available to assist you and your loved one as you navigate this event. The primary concern is for your loved one’s safety. To learn what to do in the event of a psychiatric crisis, read on.

What Is a Mental Health Crisis Event?

You may be watching a mental health crisis unfolding and wonder what if any action to take. First of all, how do you even know it is a crisis event? In general a mental health crisis is present when the person:

  • Severely depressed or anxious.
  • Has lost touch with reality.
  • Has become a threat to themselves or others.
  • Is having a severe reaction to substance abuse.
  • Is severely mentally impaired.

Various things may trigger a mental breakdown. These might include:

  • Loss, such as the death of a loved one.
  • Trauma exposure.
  • Relationship or marriage problems.
  • Work stress or loss of job.
  • Isolation
  • Experiencing symptoms of psychosis.

In the event of a mental health crisis, the person will require expert support and possibly life-saving acute stabilization.

What Are Chronic vs. Acute Mental Health Issues?

A person might have struggled with a mental health condition for a certain time period and is under a doctor’s care. This is deemed a chronic condition. Chronic simply implies that the person has ongoing challenges related to a mental health disorder.

An acute event is different. This may happen whether the person has been diagnosed with a chronic mental health disorder or not. An acute event occurs suddenly, and the person displays severe symptoms that may even endanger their life. This is the type of event that requires mental health urgent care, as it is an emergency situation.

Signs of Mental Distress

It can be upsetting to witness a loved one having a mental breakdown. You might feel very confused and overwhelmed watching them suffer. Consider the following signs that indicate someone is experiencing a mental health emergency:

  • Mental confusion.
  • Detachment
  • Paranoid thoughts.
  • Persistent insomnia.
  • Changes in eating habits.
  • Severe mood swings.
  • Odd body movements.
  • Impaired functioning.
  • Nightmares
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Disoriented
  • Talk of suicide.

About Acute Stabilization

In the most severe psychiatric events, an inpatient hospital stay may be needed to obtain acute stabilization services. Acute stabilization is standard protocol when someone has become a danger to him or herself or others.

In some cases, a 72-hour hold at a mental hospital is recommended. This allows the person to be closely monitored during the acute mental health event, and provides a safe, supportive environment. Depending on the severity of the mental breakdown, the person may be isolated until they become stable.

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When the person is admitted for stabilization they will first require a psych evaluation. This involves an interview, which may have to be aided by family member, during which a clear description of symptoms and events is relayed. The person is asked about any co-occurring substance use disorder and their mental health history. A physical exam is performed to rule out a health problem or a reaction to meds as causing the symptoms.

They would receive 24-hour care and monitoring during the acute stabilization phase. The prognosis after a mental breakdown is usually optimistic. In most cases, after they have been assessed and stabilized, they are able to step down to a residential program.

These are intensive treatment programs that design a customized treatment plan just for their recovery needs. The residential setting is more comfortable, calmer, and provides an array of therapeutic activities to aid in healing.

Urgent Mental Health Treatment

If a loved one is clearly having a mental breakdown, it is important to know how to manage the crisis. Some tips include:

  • Speak quietly and slowly.
  • Try not to overact or become emotional.
  • Listen to them and don’t argue.
  • A worsening mental health disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
  • Avoid touching them.
  • Prepare them as each step unfolds.

Of course, if the person is exhibiting life-threatening signs it is always best to call emergency services for crisis intervention services. These professionals are trained to assess the mental health situation and determine the next steps. For instance, this might involve admission to a hospital for suicide watch.

When a sense of urgency is present, immediate action is required. This could involve physical danger to others, such as when a weapon is brandished or threats are made. Mental health urgent care can deescalate the situation and provide the needed interventions to protect both the patient and others.

Residential Mental Health Treatment Programs

When the loved one enters a residential mental health, they will engage in these interventions:

  • Psychotherapy: Talk therapy provides needed guidance to help the person recognize and change irrational thoughts and behavior patterns. If the breakdown was due to trauma, prolonged exposure therapy and EMDR can reduce the impact of the triggering event.
  • Medication: Drugs are prescribed based on the diagnosis and any co-occurring disorders. These drugs, such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, sedatives, and anti-psychotics, can improve quality of life.
  •  Group therapy: Group sessions allow patients to discuss topics related to their mental health challenges.
  •  Psychosocial: To improve social functioning, they will earn better communication skills, conflict resolution techniques, and emotion regulation skills.
  • Holistic therapies: Activities such as yoga, mindfulness, deep breathing, yoga, acupuncture, and exercise promote a calm mood state and emotional stability.

If your loved one is suffering from a worsening mental health challenge, don’t wait until a crisis develops. A residential program gives them the support and tools needed to better manage the illness and improve functioning.

LifeSync Malibu Provides Primary Mental Health Stabilization and Treatment

LifeSync Malibu is a leading mental health urgent care provider in Malibu, CA. We offer residential treatment for those experiencing a mental health crisis, failing mental health, or dual diagnosis. For more details, please call us today at (866) 491-4426