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Emotional Crisis Plan

Updated 5/2010

A crisis is a temporary inability to cope with a life problem and is usually accompanied by a high degree of emotional upset. The person in crisis may exhibit the following characteristics:

  1. A highly emotional state, panic or anxiety
  2. Signs of extreme stress (physiological/psychological)
  3. Signs of extreme apathy
  4. Signs of violent behavior to self or others, verbal or behavioral
  5. Verbal communication that suicide is intended (subtle or overt)
  6. Evidence of drug and /or alcohol abuse
  7. Behavior inappropriate to the environment or context such as overt acts of anger
  8. Extreme focus on relief
  9. Great emotional upset such as uncontrollable crying
  10. May make statements of hopelessness, defeat or inadequacies

Anyone can experience a crisis. If you think help is needed quickly in any situation, it is better to over-react than fail to recognize the problem. A certain succession of crisis events is a normal part of every person’s life. Crises do not continue indefinitely; they usually last one to six weeks.

Procedures for Emotional Crisis:
The following procedures are guidelines to follow with individuals in crisis. When intense feelings are involved, the potential for violence or disruption increases, and the ability to think rationally and use normal coping skills decreases. The goal of this process is to reduce the intensity of these emotions and provide a means of intervention that will allow the student to choose an action plan leading to a successful resolution of the problem(s).

Scenario I. Immediate Threat of Violence/Suicide:
If there is a threat of violence or an immediate threat of suicide, please contact the College Police (Dial 911 from a campus phone); and

  1. Give your name and current location;
  2. Give the nature of the situation, and your concerns;
  3. Give the names of any person(s) involved and location;
  4. Give any other pertinent information (i.e. presence of weapons, what role you are assuming, any direct requests of the College Police);
  5. Identify if the individual is under a doctor’s or therapist’s care if known;
  6. Return to the location of the emergency ONLY if safe to do so;
  7. Contact the Vice President of Student Services at (972) 860-2931 or the Dean of Student Success in Advising/Counseling at (972) 860-8071.

Scenario II. No Immediate Threat of Violence or Suicide
If there is no immediate threat of violence or suicide, then contact the Advisement/Counseling Center at (972) 860-0806 or e-mail Jarlene DeCay, Dean of Student Success (jdecay@dcccd.edu) and Paula Rattler (prattler@dcccd.edu) with the same information as requested in Scenario I. The Advisement/Counseling office will assign a counselor to follow-up with the student and situation in a timely manner.

The Counselor will:

  1. Assess the nature and scope of the crisis by determining the individual’s mental condition and current support system.
  2. Assess whether other internal departments, such as College Police, Disability Services, or Health Services, need to be involved in the situation.
  3. Assess whether the individual in crisis has been or is currently involved in any counseling, medical or therapeutic relationship on or off campus, and whether those resources need to be contacted.
  4. Develop a plan of action with the student.
  5. Make appropriate referrals to mental health resources on and off campus.
  6. Write a summary of the situation which occurred on campus, the plan of action, and the recommendations that were made.
  7. Maintain a written/electronic record in the office on the student, situation, and progress.
  8. When appropriate, review the situation with the Dean of Student Success, and provide written/electronic documentation of the incident.
  9. Reassess the situation periodically and make appropriate changes to individual plan.

Mental Health Issues - Community Resources

Updated 5/2010

Safety: Please remember that the College Police are the only persons authorized by law to restrain someone or take them into custody if that person is threatening harm to him/herself or someone else. Don't hesitate to call for assistance; make sure someone else knows you are dealing with a person in an emotional crisis.

  1. The Dallas Area Mental Health Mobile Crisis Unit *1-866-260-8000 (* requires LD code from campus phones)
    Operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week; cost is FREE, regardless of income and insurance coverage Area of Services: Dallas County, Collin, Ellis, Hunt, Navarro, and Rockwall Counties
  2. Suicide and Crisis Center (214) 828-1000 (local) or 1-800-273-TALK(8255) (national)
    24 HR Hotline; confidential telephone counseling, information, and referral; debriefing services available for the aftermath of suicide
  3. Victim Intervention Center at Parkland (VIP) / Rape Crisis Center (214-590-0430)
    Available by phone 24hrs/7days; provides services to people who have experienced family violence, intimate partner violence or sexual assault, either recently or in the past
  4. UT Southwestern (214) 648-5249
    Offers free mental health evaluations and free treatment if the student qualifies for any of their studies. If the person does not qualify, then UT staff can also refer to local mental health agencies.
  5. Lancaster Outreach Counseling Center (972) 227-0190
    Offers a sliding scale fee for personal counseling starting at $10/session up to $50; Call for an appointment.

Health Problems: Sometimes a student experiences an emotional crisis which is secondary to a physical health problem. Sometimes it is less intimidating for a student to schedule a visit with a medical doctor first.

Personal physician - If the student has a personal physician, the student should be encouraged to make an appointment. A doctor can determine if the problem is physical and, if not, the doctor can start the student on treatment that will help until the student can get further evaluation from a mental health professional.

Parkland's Urgent Care Clinic (214) 590-5512 & Nurse Line (214) 266-8777
Medical services are free (no OBGYN services) at Parkland’s Urgent Care Clinic, and they are offered on a walk-in basis. Patients are then referred to the business services office to set up a Parkland insurance plan.

Social Problems: A student may experience an emotional crisis due to the stress of social problems such as not having a place to live, a way to pay bills, abuse, or other issues. Information about social services is available through:

  1. The Community Council of Greater Dallas publishes a resource book that provides extensive information on all types of social services available in area. Hard copies are on reserve in counseling, the library, and health center. For an on line search, visit www.ccgd.org
  2. Texas Community Helpline: Dial "211".
  3. Victim Intervention Center at Parkland (VIP) / Rape Crisis Center (214-590-0430) Available by phone 24hrs/7days; provides services to people who have experienced family violence, intimate partner violence or sexual assault (recently or in the past)
Page Modified: 11/3/2010 11:11 AM