Book Review: Mental Health Emergencies


A first responder’s guide to recognizing and handling mental health crises.

I saw this book and wanted to read it to learn how to help others including myself. I have no medical training and am NOT a first responder. I am a parent and an advocate. I feel that everyone should be prepared to help when the time is presented. We can all do something to help people and save lives. This does not mean putting ourselves in danger, but many technique in Mental Health Emergencies can be applied through daily life.

Mental Health Emergencies is a guidebook that successfully breaks down common crises providing useful  information that can be understood by anyone.

I wanted to create a utility tool for discussion, a guidebook for breaking down barriers and overcoming social stigmas, while helping to create a movement centered on mental health as it stands today—a genuine issue of civil rights and diversity.

I found Mental Health Emergencies to be an easy read, well written with a lot of very useful information. It explains several types of mental illnesses that are sadly more common place and ways that we can help in a crisis.

The book is written by a first responder based on his experience and experiences from his training and other first responders. Nick stresses the need for properly trained people to handle emergency situations. We must keep that in mind but having the information and practicing the techniques can help yourself and others. Do not try to diagnose people or use this in replacement of trained professionals.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in four Americans experience a mental heath issue annually (reported from 2015). Think about this, one in four. According to the CDC, overdoses are now the leading cause of death of Americans under the age of 50.

First, that the need to eliminate stigma is real, and important. Second, that anyone can aid and assist in a crisis. And third, that the tactics used in mental health emergencies really work.

Mental Health EmergenciesThere is so much useful information that it will be very hard to summarize and I highly encourage you to read this book.

Stigmatizing mental illness (and just about anything) is so dangerous. The stimga associated with so many illnesses prevent people from reaching out for help. It prevents not only the person suffering with the illness but also the person’s loved ones from building a strong support system that is so important.

In the Mental Health Emergencies you learn more about how stigma affects people with mental illness, how it prevents people from getting help and hiding what is going on. Also, like I said ANYONE can assist in a crisis. This book will provide you techniques to use while waiting for professional assistance and also help provide information to responders and mental health professionals.

Empathy and active listening are so important during a crisis. Through Mental Health Emergencies a common theme is showing compassion, having empathy and actively listening.

Mental Health Emergencies also provides some self-help techniques that everyone can use for themselves. Our mental health is very important and if we don’t learn and practice techniques to help our mental health it will be very hard to help others.

As I read the book I highlighted so much. I know this is a book that I will re-read and go to for reference. Understanding and practicing the technique is very important to me. I am excited to do more research on techniques and hear from others that have read the book.

Some of the mental health emergencies discussed are:

  • Depression
  • Self Harm
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Eating Disorders
  • Addiction

This is a small list of what is covered in Mental Health Emergencies, some techniques explained may sound basic but sadly are not used by many people. Also, understanding more about various illness helps open you realize more about what is going on.

MENTAL ILLNESSES AFFECT one’s ability to think, feel and relate to others.

People are unfairly blamed for behaviors which are simply symptoms of their mental health conditions.

The above quotes from the book are think are so important and wish people would really understand this. It is not easy, we are all human, but we must come back to the above quote. This does NOT mean removing accountability from a person, but having an understanding that mental illness affects so much is very important.

Mental Health Emergencies is a book that I highly recommend to be part of your reading and also to keep on hand to refer to. This guidebook can be used not only to learn initially but to refer back to. Coming back and refreshing the information, learning more about individual topics and learn more about how mental illness affects people.

Children are affected by mental illness, crises can be caused by so many triggering events. Certain mental illness do become more prevalent during some age groups, many of which are adolescents. Experimenting with substances increase the chances of many mental illnesses. Co-existing mental illnesses are becoming more common and addiction is one that exists with other mental illnesses.

While I highly encourage you to read Mental Health Emergencies to learn about some common mental illnesses and techniques, I

You are not to play therapist or act in ways you aren’t qualified to. It isn’t your prerogative to solve the mental health problem.

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