What can I try?

Adult Interventions

Advice for parents, teachers, counselors, and other adults.

Talk through what the youth is feeling and what they may need from you.

Try to determine the source of the conflict or disruption, and problem solve possible solutions.

If you are struggling with the family conflict or disruption, get your own support from family, friends, or professionals.

Offer to help facilitate or mediate with youth and others in conflict.

Encourage youth and others to use skills or activities that help them feel better or cope, and identify clearly what these are.

Set limits around appropriate and inappropriate ways to manage conflict and stress. 

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Who can help?

Get counseling or mental health treatment

There are several different ways to seek counseling or treatment. This includes a private therapist, a school counselor, mental health center services, and/or substance abuse treatment.

Private therapists can be a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC), or a psychologist. This is usually covered by insurance and occurs weekly or every other week. Most therapists will individualize treatment and may offer more frequent sessions if needed. Youth may also receive counseling at school. This may be in the form of a school counselor who is accessible to all youth. Find out from the teacher who the school counselor is and how you and/or the youth can set up a time with them. The school counselor can give you more information about services available in the school.

Youth in crisis may need more intensive support than outpatient therapy or school counseling. Mental health centers offer a variety of services: case management, in-home services, and individual and family therapy. Some mental health centers also offer medication management. 

If this process is overwhelming, you need help finding the right fit, or you cannot wait for the first available appointment, contact West House for a referral to the Youth Crisis Diversion Project. A crisis facilitator will meet with you within 24 business hours and guide you through the process of selecting the right service for your needs. 

Tips for Selecting a Provider.

Contact Information

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Seek an alternative place to stay.

There are times when getting some space can stabilize a crisis. If there is a safe friend or family member in the picture, it may help for the youth to stay with them for a few nights, or until a plan can be made. If this isn't an option, a short term stay in shelter care might be. Families should contact the Youth Crisis Diversion Project to access this option. Mental health centers can access shelter care for clients with approval from their supervisor.

Youth involved with Youth Court or Child & Family Services may also access shelter care through these agencies. 

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Call 9-1-1

Call 9-1-1 if conflict escalates out of control and/or becomes physical. 

When calling 9-1-1, be ready to give the dispatcher the right information. This includes name: phone number, address, date of birth, people involved, a description of the situation, and what kind of help you need. It may be helpful to inform the dispatcher of the child’s mental health issues so that the responding officer is aware. Remember that 9-1-1 is an emergency response, and the goal of the responding officer will be to ensure safety and move on to the next call.

There are several possible responses by law enforcement. Law enforcement may provide support to stabilize, transport youth to the Emergency Room for evaluation, write a ticket, and/or place a youth in detention. Once law enforcement arrives, the outcome is up to their discretion. See Law Enforcement for more information.

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