Disturbed Behaviour/Psychiatric Emergencies

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Disturbed Behaviour/Psychiatric Emergencies


Manifests as – mood swings; irrational behaviour; disjointed speech patterns; references to religious figure or security agencies (eg CIA); inappropriate conversation; accusations; depression; crying; manic behaviour.

Immediate management:
• are they homicidal or suicidal
• remain objective and listen to what is being said – look, but do not stare at person
• try to use open ended questions – eg What do you think?
• try to avoid platitudes – eg ‘It will be alright’
• do not shout and try to remain calm – be polite (despite provocation)
• try not to make sudden moves (may be interpreted as threatening)
• do not get into a physical confrontation. If violent  do not get between them and a door
• ask them if they want help – eg who can we get for you to talk to
• do not make promises that can not be kept

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