A crisis is someone’s personal reaction to an event or experience in their life they find hard to cope with.
People may experience crisis as a result of many events. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Relationship breakdown or difficulties
- Loss (of a loved one, job, home)
- Physical health issues
- Caring for another
- Violence and trauma
- Pressures from work or study
- An accident
- A natural disaster
- The onset of mental health issues
What is a crisis?
A crisis is a very individual reaction to an event or experience. One person may be extremely affected by an event, while someone else experiencing the same event may experience little or no negative effects.
If a crisis is not dealt with in a healthy way, it can lead to longer lasting mental health issues, as well as social and physical problems.
What is crisis support?
Crisis support is short term, and centres on providing people with assistance, non-judgemental support and resources in their time of need.
The main aim of crisis support is to help reduce stress and improve the person’s ability to cope with their current situation, as well as with future crises.
Lifeline believes that crisis support saves lives. We are committed to reaching out to those in crisis to offer an immediate response when difficulties seem overwhelming. Crisis support prevents unsafe and damaging reactions to difficulties, and creates opportunities for personal growth and change.
If you’re having a crisis
- Talk to someone you trust - often talking through your experience with someone you trust goes a long way to reducing your anxiety, and can help you to gain some perspective moving forward. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a loved one, visit your GP or contact a crisis line like Lifeline
- Look after your safety - Put your safety first. If you are in an unsafe situation, try to remove yourself or reach out to someone who can help you stay safe. If you are thinking about suicide, seek help immediately by calling 13 11 14.
- Recognise your strengths - your skills and abilities can help you cope under pressure. If you are having trouble identifying your strengths, ask a loved one to help you list some strengths that will help you in your current circumstances.
- Get help - manage your crisis through counselling, medical attention, self-help programs or support networks. You might need to try a number of options depending on your individual circumstances – it’s important to keep trying. Sometimes a crisis is a sign of a longer-term issue. It’s important to get help for problems such as mental health issues or financial difficulties.
- Make a plan - it can help reduce stress and give positive goals to work towards. For example if you are having financial problems it can help to create a budget.
- Take care of yourself - by eating healthily, exercising, and sleeping. Give yourself time out from your situation if possible –do things you enjoy. Avoid alcohol and drugs, as they numb feelings and make it harder to cope in the long run.
Where to get help
- Visit your GP
- Call Lifeline (13 11 14) or chat to us online
- Check out our facts & Information section for additional information and resources
- Mental Health Crisis Lines (available 24/7)
NSW: Mental Health Line
1800 011 511
VIC: Suicide Help Line
1300 651 251
QLD: 13 HEALTH
13 43 25 84
TAS: Mental Health Services Helpline
1800 332 388
SA: Mental Health Assessment and Crisis Intervention Service
13 14 65
WA: Mental Health Emergency Response Line
1800 676 822
NT: Top End Mental Health Service
08 8999 4988
ACT: Mental Health Triage Service
1800 629 354
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Online and telephone counselling for 12-25yr olds
- Kids Helpline
- 1800 55 1800
- Mensline Australia
- 1300 78 99 78
Support for men concerned about their own violent behaviour
- Relationships Australia
- 1300 364 277
Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467