Crisis Planning

I feel very strongly that anyone who has ever had mental health difficulties needs to develop for themselves, while they are well, a crisis plan such as the one that follows. This plan allows us to maintain some degree of control over our lives even when it feels like everything is out of control.

Mary Ellen Copeland on the beachDeveloping such a plan takes time – don’t expect to do it in one sitting. Work on it with family members or friends, your counselor, case manager- whoever feels comfortable to you.

The hardest part for me was uncovering those signs that indicate I need others to take over for me. It brought up memories of very hard times in the past. I did it very slowly with lots of support.

Print out this page or download the PDF Crisis Plan. Once you have completed the plan, keep a copy for yourself, and give copies to all your supporters. Update it whenever you need to.

Sample Crisis Plan:

  • When I am feeling well, I am (describe yourself when you are feeling well):
  • The following signs indicate that I am no longer able to make decisions for myself, that I am no longer able to be responsible for myself or to make appropriate decisions.
  • When I clearly have some of the above signs, I want the following people to make decisions for me, see that I get appropriate treatment and to give me care and support:
  • I do not want the following people involved in any way in my care or treatment. List names and (optionally) why you do not want them involved:
  • Preferred medications and why:
  • Acceptable medications and why:
  • Unacceptable medications and why:
  • Acceptable treatments and why:
  • Unacceptable treatments and why:
  • Home/Community Care/Respite Options:
  • Preferred treatment facilities and why:
  • Unacceptable treatment facilities and why:
  • What I want from my supporters when I am feeling this badly:
  • What I don’t want from my supporters when I am feeling this badly:
  • What I want my supporters to do if I’m a danger to myself or others:
  • Things I need others to do for me and who I want to do it:
  • How I want disagreements between my supporters settled:
  • Things I can do for myself:
  • Indicators that supporters no longer need to use this plan:
  • I developed this document myself with the help and support of:

To finish your Crisis Plan, be sure that you have signed it and that your attorney and witnesses have signed as well. See examples from our forms below.

Crisis Plan Forms:

Crisis Plan Form
Post Crisis Plan Form
Questions to Ask the Doctor about Medication Form
Information for the Physician Form

Help for a Hard Time:

In my work I sometimes feel that there is an epidemic of low self-esteem. Even people who seem to be very sure of themselves will admit to having low self-esteem that often makes them unhappy, or keeps them from doing some of the things they want to do, being the kind of person they want to be. Self-esteem has been a big factor in my life. I feel that I have always been working on raising my self-esteem and that I will always need to do that. There is no one way to raise self-esteem. There are many different things you can do to work on this. I find that I am always looking for good ways to raise self-esteem. This article will describe several ways to help you raise your self-esteem. Read More