Healthy and Slim

Perfect Body

Experts offer insights into assisting those in mental health crisis


Navigating the mental health care system and connecting to resources can oftentimes be difficult, but experts say there are measures that can be taken to support someone dealing with a mental health crisis.

When asked what to do for someone in that situation, the panelists during a Mental Health Symposium Thursday said in a perfect world, it would start with preventive measures that would hopefully stop a crisis from occurring in the first place.

If it’s too late for preventive measures, it is still important to slow down and listen when someone is in crisis, the group told the audience at the Gateway Community Center. The event was part of a series of events held this month in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month in May.

“When people’s lives are out of control … try to give them control over everything they can have a say over,” said Drew Buckner with Braveheart Ministries. “That means if we’re with them, let them make decisions instead of making them for them. Like, ‘would you like to sit down or keep standing?’ ‘Would you like water or a coffee?’”

Buckner, who is often called on by emergency responders to be a stand-by chaplain in difficult situations, said it’s important to be with the person who is in crisis.

Speaking on these topics, in addition to Buckner, were some of the primary people who respond to mental health crises in the valley: Paula Sullivan with the Crisis Intervention Team Montana, Sarah Winfrey, mental health co-responder for local law enforcement and Colby Wood, Logan Health emergency room crisis interventionist.

Preventative measures regarding a mental health crisis can include assessing someone’s needs, spending time with them and asking if they think reaching out to talk to someone would help. A safety plan, which is most effective

Read the rest