A mental health emergency is any situation involving an individual in distress who is unable to appropriately manage him/herself.
A mental health emergency or psychological crisis may include:
- Suicidal behavior.
- An individual threatening harm to him/herself or others.
- A psychotic break (bizarre behavior and/or sudden loss of contact with reality).
- An unusual or prolonged reaction to traumatic event(s).
- Behavior that is unreasonably disturbing to the academic, work or living environment.
For unusual or potentially dangerous situations:
- Never try to handle a situation that is potentially dangerous to you or others. Call University Police at 607-436-3550.
- Clearly state that immediate assistance is needed.
- Give your name, your location and the nature of the problem.
- All suicide attempts need to be reported to University Police so the safety of the individual(s) can be properly addressed.
Strategies for Escalating Violent Situations
Inform University Police and your supervisor about any individual you think could to be threatening or dangerous.
Reducing the risk of violence:
- Alert University Police at 607-436-3550.
- Know your escape route.
- Place a barrier between yourself and the aggressor.
- Use effective people/communications skills.
- Have a second person with you.
Reacting to violent situations:
- Maintain eye contact and a positive posture to send out positive signals.
- Do not touch or approach a person who may become violent.
- Keep the person talking as you maintain a controlled, calm demeanor. Speak softly.
- Show concern, yet maintain a safe distance; avoid being alone with the person.
- Have someone else contact University Police.
- Crisis intervention
- Individual and group counseling
- Referral services
- Assessment and referral counseling
- Arrangements for crisis intervention
- NYS EAP at 800-822-0244
This preparedness guide for students, faculty, staff and visitors has been provided to you by SUNY Oneonta. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with how SUNY Oneonta plans for emergencies, and to improve your understanding of emergency preparedness and response. This guide is based on presently available information, as well as current federal- and state-recommended protective actions. In every situation, common sense and awareness of personal safety should take precedence over any action described in this guide.