Resources and Support

DBT team

What can family and friends do in an emergency?

Finding out that someone is about to self-harm, or has just self-harmed or attempted suicide is a very stressful situation to be in.

It is important to be aware of your safety and the safety of other people in the environment first, and base your responses on these safety considerations. Below are some guidelines to help support you in an immediate crisis:

  • If a crisis plan or safety plan is already developed, follow the plan
  • If a crisis or safety plan is not already developed, then seek immediate advice and support by phoning emergency services:
    • An ambulance — 000
    • The police (for a welfare check or if the person has a weapon or is in a dangerous situation) — 000
    • Suicide Helpline Victoria — 1300 651 251
    • The local Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team (CATT) — www.health.vic.gov.au/mentalhealth/services/adult/index.htm
    • Their own doctor, counsellor or psychologist.

The service you call depends on the severity of the situation, and how urgently you need a safety response, with police and ambulance being the most urgent.

Follow the guidance of the emergency service that you call.

Further support in urgent situations and guidance in developing safety plans is available on the Beyond Blue website.