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What to do if you’re scared or threatened and need crisis help in Maine


Are you feeling scared or threatened?

Sometimes people we care about with mental illness act in ways that make us feel unsafe. It’s important to remember that YOUR SAFETY and the safety of others in your home should be your first priority.


Get yourself out of the situation.

Go to a safe place, such as the home of a friend, neighbor or other family member. Once you’re safe, CALL FOR HELP.

  • If you call 911, tell them it’s a mental health emergency. Also provide a diagnosis if you know it, and what behavior made you feel threatened. Be sure to tell them, if you know for certain, whether the person has access to guns, knives or other weapons.  And ask them not to use their sirens or lights if possible.
  • Do NOT return to your home no matter how much you think you would be able to help.  We often hear people say “I know him/her and they would not hurt me.”  The reality is that during times of crisis, the person that we know and love is not present. The person we have in front of us is someone who is in crisis and who is not thinking and behaving the way our loved one would.
  • Once you’ve called 911, you can call the Maine Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 1-888-568-1112 to receive support and guidance on what to do next, and after the crisis has dissipated.


Keep this in mind, depending on where you live in Maine:

Some Maine towns and cities have Crisis Intervention Trained (CIT) officers. They’re specially trained to recognize and work with people experiencing a mental health crisis. You can ask for a CIT trained officer to be sent to help with your loved one when you call 911.

When the officer(s) arrive on the scene, they’ll act with their own safety in mind as well as the safety of your loved one. How they proceed will depend on a variety of factors, but remember that at this point, you do not control the situation. If you decided to stay where your loved one is, it’s very likely that they’ll ask you to step aside, possibly even leave the area, and let them manage the situation.

Be proactive. If you know your loved one is struggling or could end up in crisis, it is a good idea to remove any weapons (to the extent possible) from your home.  In some cases, individuals can be impulsive and having ready access to weapons of a variety of types just makes for a dangerous situation.


If you’re worried that a crisis is about to happen, these additional tips may help.



Words of Hope

"What I’ve needed from family members, peers and other people in my life, is for them to hold hope for me while I’m struggling with my illness and to provide support. With these, I have been able to continue to move forward and work my recovery."
- KE


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Family Hope is Maine's resource for finding mental health services. We do not endorse any one program or organization. Our mission is to connect you to options, saving you time and frustration.
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