The best way to handle a crisis or emergency is to prevent it in the first place. Prevention might include:
- Following an individual treatment plan
- Monitoring symptoms for any changes
- Learning stress-management and problem-solving skills that work for you * click here for 99 coping skills or learn more about the Taking Care of You classes offered in Jackson County by calling 715-284-4257, ask for Monica. You can also visit our Building Healthy Coping Skills page to learn more.
- Planning ahead for stressful events you know are coming
- Maintaining a balanced, healthy lifestyle
- Going to your doctor or mental health professional as soon as you notice a change in the way you feel
The following link will open a list of mental health resources available to Jackson County residents… May 2017 Jackson County Mental Health Resource List
Unfortunately, working to prevent your symptoms from getting worse or coming back doesn’t guarantee that you’ll never feel unwell. So it’s important to think about what you want to do if you start to feel unwell again. Then you can take action right away and help control the crisis or emergency. Your action plan also tells others what to do if you can’t express your needs and wishes to them.
An action plan might be a formal agreement you sign with your health care provider, or it might be an informal plan between you and your loved ones. It might include:
- Signs that show you aren’t feeling well
- At what point you want outside help: As soon as you notice warning signs? When you can no longer manage symptoms on your own?
- Where to go for help or who to contact in an emergency situation
- What treatments you’d prefer
- A list of your current medications and any other treatments (including alternative treatments)
- Contact information for your health professional, the nearest emergency room, and contact information for the loved ones you want notified
An action plan may also include steps your loved ones agree to take. For example, a loved one may contact your doctor or mental health provider, inform your employer that you aren’t well and help keep everything in order (such as rent or bill payments) if you need to stay in hospital. Whether your action plan is a formal agreement or an informal plan among loved ones, it’s best to put everything in writing so everyone knows what they need to do.
You might not want to think about feeling unwell when you’re feeling well, but planning ahead may actually help you feel better. Many people who recover from a mental illness worry about what will happen if their symptoms come back (a relapse) or become worse. An action plan may reduce some of the worry because you know that you have a back-up plan if you need it.
If your plan or agreement involves the care of your children, access to your financial information or other important matters, it’s best to talk with a lawyer about your options.