A mental health crisis (sometimes also called a mental health emergency) is when a person’s mental or emotional state worsens quickly. It often means that you no longer feel able to cope or be in control of your situation.
You may feel overwhelming emotional distress or anxiety, you may find you cannot cope with day-to- day life or work, you could have thoughts about suicide or self-harm, or you may experience hallucinations or hear voices (also called psychosis or psychotic episodes).
A mental health crisis could involve panic attacks and sometimes dangerous behaviour which could pose an immediate risk to others as well as yourself. It can be the result of an underlying medical condition such as confusion or delusions caused by an infection or experienced by someone who has dementia.
You could also experience similar feelings after taking illicit drugs, due to intoxication with alcohol or in the event of an overdose.
Whether you experience a sudden deterioration of an existing mental health problem or are experiencing problems for the first time, the most important thing is to reach out for help.