mental health crisis card

The Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health has released a Mental Health Crisis Card that children and adults can use to de-escalate a situation when experiencing a mental health crisis. Those who may experience a mental health crisis are encouraged to print it and always carry it with them or take a photo of it and put it on their phone.

What Is a Calming Strategy?

The card allows the person to state their calming strategy. These strategies encourage students to make favorable decisions instead of allowing their negative emotional behavior to occur. These strategies are beneficial when a person is starting to feel anxious. Generally, calming strategies last less than five minutes. Individuals who cannot read may want to use photos that they can point to when they need to employ a calming strategy.

Calming Strategy Gameplan

Caregivers can teach people to use calming strategies to stay in more control of their mental health. Typically, the process begins with early recognition of when a person is starting to experience a problem that can result in a poor mental health outcome, such as feeling anxious, mad, or depressed. Then, getting out the card and showing someone what they need on the card. Suggestions include:

• Pacing
• Deep breathing
• Coloring
• Journaling
• Talking to a friend
• Being quiet
• Exercising
• Punching a pillow
• Screaming into a pillow
• Reading

What Else Comes on the Card?

The card from the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health also contains other pertinent information. It includes the name and phone number of a caretaker. Furthermore, it contains information on how to get help from the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 on a cellphone, texting hopeline to 741741 and connecting with the Speak Up Speak Out program designed to teach every third grader in Wisconsin to speak out when they see something that is not right.

We encourage you to use this resource. For other helpful resources, please make an appointment to come in and talk with American Behavioral Clinics.



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