What to Do in a Mental Health Crisis

As a veterinary family, we take care of each other. Hopefully, you never need to use the following resources.
However, if needed, here’s what to do if someone is experiencing a mental health crisis.


When is it a 911 call?

If someone is imminently about to hurt themselves—or has already—call 911 immediately. This can include taking pills, using a weapon, threatening harm, etc. Seconds count, and trying to arrange care through the Veterinary Counselors, Dean’s Office, or anyone other than the police/EMS may cost a life. Officers are not acting in a punitive manner during mental health emergencies. They are trained to assist someone in danger and safely transport them to an emergency room.

Alternatively, if you are not with the person, call 911 and request a “welfare check.” This terminology alerts the police to assess someone’s safety and provide help if needed.

Calling 911 may be uncomfortable, but it is the required step to help someone. Please don’t delay.


When is it an urgent call?

If someone’s life is not immediately in danger, but they need urgent assistance because of suicidal thoughts, an inability to cope, or a recent traumatic event, bypass the Veterinary Counselors and go straight to the Crisis Back-Up Team at Counseling & Psychological Services. Assistance is available and waiting.

During business hours, please call 979.845.4427 for directions to the building near University Drive & Discovery Drive, or walk over. It is approximately a 10-minute walk from the CVM. Upon arrival, let the staff know that you need help with a crisis.

After hours, the HelpLine opens at 4:00 p.m. and runs through the night until 8:00 a.m. as well as all weekend long. The number is on the back of all A&M ID’s: 979.845.2700.


When is it a regular referral?

If someone is struggling, but they are not in danger, please let the Professional Programs Office know your concerns. They can check in with the person and connect them to counseling services if needed. You can also complete a Tell Somebody Report online at tellsomebody.tamu.edu for non-emergencies. The form will route to the people who can assist.


If you are struggling and would like to schedule an initial appointment, please register for counseling services online at the CAPS website and email the Veterinary Counselors afterward to request an appointment time, vetcounselor@caps.tamu.edu.