Should I call a Crisis Line or go to the ER?

You can call a crisis line any time, for any reason.

Here are some examples of why people have called in the past:

  • Feeling depressed for a week or longer.
  • Experiencing things that may be unreal or bizarre… for example, seeing, hearing, or smelling things and questioning whether others have the same experience.
  • Having anxiety attacks and need some ways to cope.
  • Having frightening thoughts of suicide or violence but haven‘t made any plans.
  • The signs of depression have become worse such as more or less sleep, no appetite or too much eating, poor concentration, no energy, no motivation, not doing well at school or work, isolating self, feeling no one understands or cares.
  • Needing information about other services in the community.
  • A friend or family member is in emotional trouble and wants support and direction.

If you think you need to see a doctor immediately you should go to the hospital.

Here are some reasons people have gone to the hospital:

  • They have injured themselves.
  • Seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling things that are bizarre and frightening and feel unable to cope with these experiences.
  • Hearing voices telling them to do something dangerous.
  • Heavy drugs or alcohol use, or when coming down from drugs or alcohol which can be a life threatening situation.
  • Having side effects from prescribed medication causing distress.
  • Having thoughts of hurting themselves, or ending their life, having a way to do it, and have tried before.

Information provided by thanks Dr. Margaret DeCorte, Ph. D., C. Psych. and her youth crew at Royal Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON