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How To Help Someone With Mental Illness Who Is A Danger To Self Or Others

Recent news stories have brought the subject of mental illness into the national spotlight. While media attention has mental illness in the spotlight, often family and friends who have the desire to help, feel they lack the necessary resources.

If a friend of family member is showing signs of mental illness and they are a danger to themselves or others, there are a number of ways to offer support and connect them to professional help or services.

Contact your local mental health agency.

Mental health agencies have a wealth of information and resources to help individuals struggling with mental illness. Contacting a local mental health agency can be a great way to connect an individual struggling with mental illness to helpful services.

Mental health agencies in Northwest Ohio include:

Maumee Valley Guidance Center

Defiance County: (419) 782-8856


Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services

(877) 275-6364


Family Resource Center of Northwest Ohio, Inc.

Allen County: (419) 222-1168

Auglaize County: (419) 394-7451

Hancock County: (419) 422-8616

Hardin County: (419) 679-1219

Shelby County: (937) 710-4616


Contact local police or sheriff’s department if there is an immediate danger to self or others.

In an emergency situation, when the person is an immediate danger to his or herself or others, DON’T WAIT. Call 911. The police or sheriff’s department can take the individual to a safe location. The individual will also be assessed for other protective emergency mental health services.

Contact a local attorney about emergency probate procedures.

An attorney can assist you in obtaining mental health treatment for someone struggling with mental health through an emergency probate procedure. This course of action may be necessary if the individual is incapacitated by mental illness and is unable or unwilling to seek treatment on his or her own behalf.

Volunteer to go with them to get help.

Seeking mental health treatment can seem intimidating, so having the support of family and friends can be crucial. Volunteering to accompany an individual in need while they seek mental health treatment can make the process less daunting.

Do not hesitate to seek help when you know someone who is suffering from mental illness and is in danger of harming themselves or others. Knowing when to seek immediate assistance can help prevent a tragedy.