Crisis Intervention Immediate Care

People with mental illness or substance use disorder (SUD) often have emergencies in their life. It can be an overdose, thoughts of suicide, or legal issues involving their children. While the crisis is stressful and tiring, it is a perfect time for crisis intervention. Urgent access centers offer 24/7 walk-in care for crisis situations.  

What is Crisis Intervention?

Crisis intervention is an immediate and short-term response. It can help with mental, emotional, physical, and behavioral issues. Immediate care can prevent the potential for long-term behavioral health issues or SUD. 

Trained professionals perform crisis intervention. Interventions happen in hospitals, clinics, treatment centers, or in-home. But, crisis counseling is a short-term intervention. It offers assistance, resources, stabilization, and support. So it is vital to enter a treatment program to continue recovery.

Crisis Intervention: Mental Illness Statistics

In the United States, one in five or 43.8 million adults endures mental illness each year. And of those adults, over 20 million have a SUD. That is, over half of those with mental illness have co-occurring substance use issues. 

But, it’s not only adults that suffer mental and substance use issues. Of teens aged 13 to 18, one in five experience severe mental health issues. While 13 percent of children aged 8 to 15 have severe mental issues. For this reason, crisis intervention is crucial for people of all ages

What is a Crisis?

A crisis can be a trauma, mental illness, grief, or relationship changes. A crisis can be hard to handle. And those with mental illness or SUD can suffer many crisis situations. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Almost one in 10 individuals discharged from a state psychiatric hospital will be readmitted within 30 days; more than one in five will be readmitted within 180 days,”

A crisis can cause a person to lose their mental balance or return to the harmful use of substances.

Signs of a Crisis

The signs that a person is in a crisis include:

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Poor concentration
  • Anger
  • Conflict with others
  • Avoiding people 
  • Grief
  • Denial
  • Eating and sleeping issues
  • Using drugs and alcohol
  • Suicidal thoughts

Many people try to hide their situation. But knowing the signs of a crisis can help. Crisis intervention can help people regain control and balance in their life.

Immediate Access in Crisis Intervention

When a person is in a crisis, they need help right then. Rapid access to urgent care is becoming more widely available. Centers like Sana Lake BWC offer immediate access to psychiatric, behavioral health, and support services. 

Assessment and Crisis Intervention

When a member (individual) enters an urgent care center, they go through an assessment stage. In this stage, the effects of the crisis are assessed. It is like an interview where the therapist learns about the member and past crises. 

There are three phases of assessment. The first is triage. In triage, a member’s condition is assessed, and treatment options are evaluated. 

The second phase collects crisis information. Information can include how the crisis is affecting mental health and how frequently an emergency happens. It is also useful to know if a member has been in treatment before. 

The final phase is a social and cultural assessment. Many social and cultural factors can affect a member’s ability to cope with a crisis. In this phase, a member is assessed for the level of stress, problem, and severity of the crisis. 

Medically Assisted Treatment in Crisis Intervention

Many people use drugs or alcohol to cope with stress, trauma, and mental health disorders. Sometimes, this use can lead to harmful behavior. Whether the harm is to themself or others, crisis intervention may be required. 

Medically-assisted treatment (MAT) may be required to safely detox from alcohol and opiates. Alcohol and opiates change the brain and the body so much. So stopping “cold turkey” can be dangerous and life-threatening. 

A medical detox program allows members to detox safely. With the use of FDA-approved medications, the withdrawal symptoms are easier to cope with. While in detox, members begin therapy sessions and start on the recovery journey.

Co-occurring Disorders and Crisis Intervention

Co-occurring disorders of SUD and mental health disorders are common. A dual-diagnosis can make it difficult to cope in a crisis. Crisis intervention is most common in treating mental health issues. But those in recovery may suffer setbacks when coping with a crisis as well.

People who only use drugs or alcohol to cope in a crisis are not yet dependent. This makes crisis intervention crucial. It can teach healthy coping skills to prevent SUD. 

Crisis Intervention in Counseling: Psychiatric and Behavioral Health

Emergency room professionals are not always equipped to treat mental health disorders. But, someone in a crisis doesn’t have time to wait for a therapist appointment. Urgent care centers offer 24-hour access to behavioral and substance use counselors.

Licensed therapists are trained in the urgent care of mental and substance use disorders. Having immediate access to psychiatric services can stop a crisis from being life-threatening. These services offer education and motivation to members. The motivation encourages them to engage in additional treatments, such as inpatient, outpatient, or partial hospitalization programs. 

Crisis intervention in counseling offers individual, group, and family therapies. Starting therapy in an urgent care setting increases participation in additional therapies throughout the recovery journey. Whether it a mental illness tearing a family apart or alcohol use causing a couple to break-up, crisis intervention can be helpful. 

Peer Support Services in Crisis Intervention

Peer support services are provided by members who have achieved a level of recovery. Their goal is to model recovery, teach recovery skills, and offer support to others. Through peer support programs, members are given encouragement on their recovery journey. 

Peer support services can:

  • Reduce symptoms and hospitalizations
  • Increase social support and participation in the community
  • Decrease the cost of services
  • Improve well-being, self-esteem, and social functioning

No one is alone on the recovery journey. With help from peer support services, members have a shoulder to lean on and the services to help them stay in recovery. 

Risk of Suicide and Crisis Intervention

The risk of suicide is real in those with mental health disorders. Someone who attempts suicide can feel overwhelmed, lonely, angry, and powerless. And some people isolate themself. This behavior makes them feel like people don’t care. 

Warning Signs of Suicide

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the following are signs of suicidal thoughts:

  • Talking as if saying goodbye
  • Giving away personal items
  • Obtaining a weapon
  • Stockpiling medication
  • Making or changing a will
  • Always talking about death
  • Increased substance use
  • Changes in mood and behaviors
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • History of suicidal thoughts or attempts

Crisis Intervention Professionals

Many types of mental health professionals work in crisis intervention. They work in inpatient centers, hospitals, outpatient centers, and urgent care centers. In urgent crisis care centers like Sana Lake BWC, a variety of professionals are on staff


Psychologists have a doctoral degree. They evaluate a member’s mental health. They do so using interviews, evaluations, and testing. Psychologists can make diagnoses and provide therapy. Some psychologists have specific training in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). 

Counselors and Therapists

Counselors and therapists have a master’s degree. They are trained to evaluate mental health and use therapeutic techniques. Members meet with counselors and therapists to develop better ways of thinking and behaving. 


Psychiatrists are medical doctors with psychiatric training. They can diagnose mental disorders, prescribe medications, and provide therapy. Some psychiatrists specialize in adolescent mental health, substance use, or geriatric psychiatry. 

Certified Peer Specialists

Certified peer specialists have a “lived” experience. These experiences can be with mental health conditions or SUD. They are trained and certified to help a member in recovery. Peer specialists can help set goals and provide support and guidance. 

Crisis Intervention at Sana Lake BWC

At Sana Lake BWC, we offer a high level of urgent care services. You or your loved one can walk-in and receive quick and compassionate care. Our professionals are trained in crisis intervention of mental and substance use issues. 

Our team of doctors, therapists, and wellness coaches can identify and treat disorders from depression to schizophrenia. They can also treat addictions from alcohol to opiates to synthetic substances. 

Crisis intervention in counseling is helpful in finding a balance in life. In a crisis situation, stress can cause a person to make poor choices in their behavior. Individual therapy allows members to talk about personal struggles. Therapists can help develop goals and guide the member to recovery. 

Group therapy at Sana Lake BWC offers member’s in a crisis the support to get through it. Group therapy allows members to share their struggles and receive support. At the same time, family therapy rebuilds the family unit that addiction and mental health issues destroyed. The safe space of therapy gives family members the freedom to express themselves. 

Do You Need Our Urgent Access Center?

At Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center, you are our number one priority. If you or a loved one needs crisis intervention, our doors are always open. Contact us today and start your journey to Recovery for Life!