Psychiatric Emergency

Psychiatric Emergency

Situations that would constitute a psychiatric emergency include:

  • an attempted suicide
  • potential suicide
  • acutely psychotic behavior
  • Yellow ribbon card

That is, those situations where observation of a person’s behavior may lead one to believe that the person may be in immediate danger of harming him/herself or someone else directly or indirectly through that person’s lack of ability to appreciate his/her own current state.

Attempted Suicide

This would constitute a medical as well as psychiatric emergency, depending on the method of attempt and extensiveness of physical injury.

Emergency medical procedures for life threatening or less than life threatening injury should be followed.

Professional assessment of current emotional state and potential for further suicide attempts should be sought.

If any individual is brought to a hospital emergency service this will automatically happen. However, if the self-inflicted injury itself is not life threatening, other options are available.

(*) After hours these services may be accessed through the Security Department.

N.B. In all instances it is important that an individual stay with the suicidal person and provide non-judgmental empathic support. An incident report form should be completed, maintaining confidentiality.

Potential Suicide and Acutely Psychotic Behaviour

The main goal in these situations is to bring the individual in contact with a helping professional who can assess and deal with his/her current state. It is most important that the individual not be left alone while the contacts are being made and that non-judgmental empathic support is provided. Options include :

If one is unsure about the behavior, the Student Health Services or Counselling Office may be consulted, as well as the Info-Santé telephone service – 811.