• Remember, agitation or anger is short lived and behaviour breeds behaviour. When we are calm and reassuring, we are more likely to see someone in distress calming down
  • Acknowledge the persons distress and highlight you are trying to help
  • Where possible, move to a private safe area
  • Show empathy and non-judgmental approach
  • Respect yours and their personal space
  • Keep your tone of voice and body language neutral
  • Try not to overreact
  • Focus on thoughts, not feelings
  • Establish boundaries. You can only help if the person listens and explains their situation
  • Remove any audience or source of distress where possible
  • Make a connection with their personal interests or empathise with how they feel
  • Consider your own safety and if you are alone and ask for help if needed


At risk mental state

Most people experiencing a mental health crisis are more likely to be a risk to themselves than others. All aspects of risk in life are fluid processes which we think through and manage. For example, we wouldn’t drive a car without a seatbelt on due to risks if there was a crash. When considering these principles, the “Eight ‘S’ principles” below may be helpful.