Watching someone you care about struggle with an untreated mental illness can be hard, especially if they don’t see a problem. While nobody is sure of how to prevent mental illness, there are several different types of interventions that can help an individual in a mental health crisis.
Today, we’re going to look at some intervention examples of various types of mental health interventions. This will help you understand how to help someone dealing with mental illness and avoid common pitfalls of interventions. This is a sensitive issue, but with some help and some know-how, you can help your loved one get the care they need.
1. Intervention Counseling
For someone who just hasn’t seemed like themself lately, intervention counseling could be the way to go. This approach employs a mental health professional, such as a counselor, that can help you, your loved one, and other concerned individuals discuss these worries in a way that is safe for everyone and avoids aggression.
In some cases, intervention counseling might include someone transitioning to an inpatient mental health program. For this reason, it is best to approach this conversation with contact information for a local Louisiana mental health center before beginning the intervention.
Upon transitioning to inpatient care, some of the evidence-based treatment options may include:
- Therapeutic counseling
- Group therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Medication management
Intervention counseling is most effective when it is followed up with more mental health care. This could be continued counseling, visiting a mental health center, or any other therapeutic approaches that keep mental health recovery as a priority. Because while mental health interventions can do a lot of good, they should always be accompanied by further care and treatment.
2. Mental Health Crisis Intervention
When you suspect that an individual is having thoughts of harming themself or others, it may be time for a mental health crisis intervention strategy. In the throes of a crisis, the individual may not see their situation clearly. For this reason, a mental health crisis intervention may help them gain perspective and take steps toward mental health recovery.
If an individual is struggling with suicidal thoughts, self-harm, or other signs of a mental health crisis, the intervention should focus on their safety and helping them secure help right away. This may look like weekly counseling, suicide prevention strategies, or enrolling in a mental health crisis program. With all of these treatment options, the goal is to promote stability and help transition the individual out of the crisis and into long-term mental health treatment.
Often, suicidal thoughts and actions do not happen on their own. They are typically signs of a mental health condition, such as:
- Bipolar disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Co-occurring substance use disorders
While all forms of mental health intervention are important, crisis intervention often cannot wait. When an individual experiences a mental health crisis, the situation can worsen with little warning. For that reason, immediate care is vital to protect their safety and well-being.
3. Psychological Intervention
A psychological intervention is similar to intervention counseling, but with some key differences. While both of these mental health interventions provide evidence-based treatment for behavioral health issues, the focus of psychological intervention is more specific. Most often, this type of intervention is used when an individual presents with both a mental health condition and a co-occurring substance use disorder.
This type of intervention is most often used when an individual has displayed both signs of mental illness and signs of addiction. Because these are deeply connected issues, addressing them as one comprehensive issue is the most effective strategy for long-term recovery. In psychological intervention, the intervention specialist may encourage the individual to enroll in a dual diagnosis program where both mental health and addiction issues can be treated simultaneously.
Rules for Mental Health Intervention
Regardless of the intervention strategy that an intervention specialist recommends, there are some general rules for interventions that you should always follow. These are best practices that help individuals get help without making them feel shamed or pressured, and they include:
- Timing: You never want to have an intervention when an individual is already in a negative headspace. For this reason, you should try to pick a time when the person will be relaxed and at ease to maximize your odds of getting through to them. If you suspect that the individual has a co-occurring substance use disorder, you should also make sure that they are sober during the intervention.
- Team: An intervention is a space where loved ones can come together to voice their concern for an individual. While it can be tempting to think that more people means more support, you should limit your intervention team to people who have meaningful relationships with the individual. If you’re unsure who to include, try talking it over with your intervention specialist.
- Tone: Having the right tone is a crucial part of a mental health intervention. This can include positive language (e.g., emphasizing how much you care about the individual), friendly body language, and sticking to a pre-written script to make sure you say the right things. Communicating in this way can make it much easier for your message to get through, so try to leave judgements and accusations at the door.
Ultimately, you should always follow the guidance of a professional intervention specialist. They will help you work out a plan that includes what to say to your loved one, how to say it, and how to provide them with local mental health resources.
Find Mental Health Support
At Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital, we help improve mental health through a wide variety of programming. Whether it’s treatment for co-occurring disorders, stabilizing a mental health crisis, providing inpatient mental health care, or administering outpatient care, we are proud to serve our Baton Rouge community however we can.
Would you like to learn more about our mental health care programs? Call our friendly admissions specialists at 225-300-8470 or ask your questions through our confidential contact form. Mental health recovery is a journey, and we’re ready to help you take the next step.