Mental Health Crisis

In my years as a mobile crisis counselor for Sheboygan County I would regularly hear people state that the event that caused their crisis was “silly” because it was “not a big enough deal” to cause them to go into crisis. My response to this has always been, “It doesn’t matter what the event was. What matters is how you reacted to it.” A mental health crisis is nothing more than an emotional reaction to a thought or event that reached an unbearable level. You cannot use the event or thought itself to measure the mental health crisis, you can only measure the level of emotional pain it is causing. The same event (let us say the death of a beloved pet) could cause a mental health crisis in one person, but not in another. If your emotional pain over the pet’s death reaches an unbearable level, then you may start to get desperate in trying to reduce the pain. This desperation is what drives people to start abusing drugs or alcohol, start self-harming (cutting), or even becoming suicidal to name a few ways you may be tempted to reduce or eliminate the emotional pain.

The good news is there are non-destructive ways to cope with this intense emotional pain, but they are hard to think of when your emotions are severely hindering your ability to think clearly. The easiest way to think clearly in a crisis is to have someone else do the clear minded thinking for you. . This is why emergency hot lines like the Sheboygan County Mental Health Crisis Program  at (920)459-3151 exist. The professionals manning these phones are trained to help people in crisis. By calling them, you will be taking the first crucial step to resolving your emotional burden in a non-destructive way. And remember, if your mental health crisis has the ability to reoccur, please follow up with one of our therapists about your situation. Being de-escalated appropriately from a mental health crisis is a great thing, but keeping the crisis from reoccurring is even better.


James Lammers, MA, LPC-IT