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Crisis Planning Part II


Part 5 Treatments

There may be particular treatments that you like in a crisis situation and others that you would want to avoid. The reason may be as simple as “this treatment has or has not worked in the past,” or you may have some concerns about the safety of this treatment. Maybe you just don’t like the way a particular treatment makes you feel. Treatments here can mean medical procedures or the many possibilities of alternative therapy, (such as injections of B vitamins, massages, or cranial sacral therapy). In this part of your crisis plan, list the following:

  • treatments you are currently undergoing and why
  • treatments you would prefer if treatments or additional treatments became necessary and why you would choose those
  • treatments that would be acceptable to you if treatments were deemed necessary by your support team
  • treatments that must be avoided and why

Part 6 Planning for your care

Describe a plan for your care in a crisis that would allow you to stay where you like. Think about your family and friends. Would they be able to take turns providing you with care? Could transportation be arranged to health care appointments? Is there a program in your community that could provide you with care part of the time, with family members and friends taking care of you the rest of the time? Many people who would prefer to stay at home rather than be hospitalized are setting up these kinds of plans. You may need to ask your family members, friends, and health care providers what options are available. If you are having a hard time coming up with a plan, at least write down what you imagine the ideal scenario would be.

Part 7 Treatment facilities

Describe the treatment facilities you would like to use if family members and friends cannot provide you with care, or if your condition requires hospital care. Your options may be limited by the facilities available in your area and by your insurance coverage. If you are not sure which facilities you would like to use, write down a description of what the ideal facility would be like. Then, talk to family members and friends about the available choices and call the facilities to request information that may help you in making a decision. Also include a list of treatment facilities you would like to avoid—such as places where you received poor care in the past.

Part 8 What you need from others

Describe what your supporters can do for you that will help you feel better. This part of the plan is very important and deserves careful attention. Describe everything you can think of that you want your supporters to do (or not do) for you. You may want to get more ideas from your supporters and health care professionals.

Things others could do for you that would help you feel more comfortable might include:

  • listen to me without giving me advice, judging me, or criticizing me
  • hold me (how? how firmly?)
  • let me pace
  • encourage me to move, help me move
  • lead me through a relaxation or stress reduction technique
  • peer counsel with me
  • provide me with materials so I can draw or paint
  • give me the space to express my feelings
  • don’t talk to me (or do talk to me)
  • encourage me and reassure me
  • feed me nutritious food
  • make sure I take my vitamins and other medications
  • play me comic videos
  • play me good music (list the kind)
  • just let me rest

Include a list of specific tasks you would like others to do for you, who you would like to do which task, and any specific instructions they might need. These tasks might include:

  • buying groceries
  • watering the plants
  • feeding the pets
  • taking care of the children
  • paying the bills
  • taking out the garbage or trash
  • doing the laundry

You may also want to include a list of things that you do not want others to do for you—things they might otherwise do because they think it would be helpful, but that might even be harmful or worsen the situation. These might include:

  • forcing you to do anything, such as walking
  • scolding you
  • becoming impatient with you
  • taking away your cigarettes or coffee
  • talking continuously

Some people also include instructions in this section on how they want to be treated by their caregivers. These instructions might include statements such as “kindly, but firmly, tell me what you are going to do,” “don’t ask me to make any choices at this point,” or “make sure to take my medications out of my top dresser drawer right away.”

Part 9 Recognizing recovery

In the last part of this plan, give your supporters information on how to recognize when you have recovered enough to take care of yourself and they no longer need to use this plan. Some examples are:

  • when I am eating at least two meals a day
  • when I am awake for six hours a day
  • when I am taking care of my personal hygiene needs daily
  • when I can carry on a good conversation
  • when I can easily walk around the house

You have now completed your crisis plan.

Update it when you learn new information or change your mind about things. Date your crisis plan each time you change it and give revised copies to your supporters.

You can help ensure that your crisis plan will be followed by signing it in the presence of two witnesses. It will further increase potential for use if you appoint and name a durable power of attorney–a person who could legally make decisions for you if you were not able to make them for yourself. Since power of attorney documents vary from state to state, you cannot be absolutely sure the plan will be followed. However, it is your best assurance that your wishes will be honored.

Sourced in July 2017 from:

Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15-99
Rockville, MD 20857