Mental health crises present themselves in different ways. Because of that, there are varied approaches to supporting and stabilizing someone who is experiencing a crisis. Some patients experience a slow decline while others have abrupt shifts in behavior. “Patients could be suicidal, have attempted suicide, or have inflicted some sort of self-harm,” says Danielle Johnson, Lindner Center of HOPE’s chief medical officer. “They may be severely depressed and experience a significant decline in daily functioning, making it difficult to get out of bed, go to work or school, or take care of themselves or their families. Some may even have catatonic symptoms.” The Lindner Center of HOPE treats all mental health situations regardless of the severity.
The first priority in any mental health crisis is ensuring the patient is safe. In-patient care is like an emergency room for mental health. If a patient exhibits behavior that is considered unsafe, it’s critical for them to be admitted to in-patient care at a mental health facility. “In-patient is not the place to figure out what happened,” says Margot Brandi, medical director at Sibcy House. “The goal is to make sure a patient is stable and safe.” In-patient care is reserved for critical situations such as psychosis or impulsive behaviors. “The ultimate objective is for [patients] to reach a level of safety that allows them to be discharged, tolerate medication, and transition to a lower level of care,” says Johnson. “This could include outpatient treatment, a partial hospitalization program, or transitioning to Williams House.”
The Williams House is a residential facility that aims to rebuild a patient’s resilience, independence, and motivation. Patients at the Williams House aren’t in immediate danger, but will require support and treatment to return to home, work, or school. Doctors monitor how patients respond to medication and professionals guide them through individual therapy, group therapy, and other daily activities. While in-patient care can be involuntary, residential care, such as the Williams House, is always voluntary. The Williams House Medical Director William Hartmann says the transition from in-patient care to residential care is a slow and gradual process. “We carefully consider all the information available to draw useful conclusions,” says Hartmann. “We then guide the person toward further treatment options that build on the progress they’ve already made.”
Although patients improve when they leave in-patient care, that’s just the starting point. The Lindner Center of HOPE has several follow-up services for patients to continue progressing in their mental health journey, including outpatient care and telehealth appointments.
Seek professional help
If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis it’s important to seek help. Contact Lindner Center of HOPE and visit the Lindner Center of HOPE website to learn more about treatment options at the Center.