What Are Routine,
Urgent, Crisis &
May 25, 2013
G. Conner, Psy.D
Urgent, crisis intervention and emergency services deal with a broad
range of psychological and social problems. Problems can develop abruptly or slowly
over time. People facing a crisis or an emergency, as well as the people who become
involved, can experience a range of physical and psychological symptoms as well as changes
in their routines and relationships. Some problems represent an emergency and
require an immediate intervention and stabilization. Most problems are not
emergencies. Most are urgent and require evaluation or attention within 3
days. A qualified emergency and crisis intervention professional can evaluate a
crisis and can advise you regarding the necessary steps to take.
Emergency Problems (usually
- Dangerous, threatening, violent, self-harming, destructive or
- Abuse, especially child abuse or
abuse of the elderly.
- Mental and emotional problems that have not been evaluated and may be
caused by a medical problem.
Strange, bizarre or unusual behaviors and symptoms
that have not been evaluated or treated.
Conditions in which taking or failing to take
medications may be causing or may cause significant physical, mental or emotional harm.
Crisis Problems (usually
assistance within 24 hours)
- Emergency problems that have been evaluated by a qualified
professional and based on that evaluation can wait until the next available appointment
within a 24 hour time frame.
Potentially dangerous, threatening, violent,
self-harming, destructive or suicidal behavior which has been evaluated by a qualified
professional who feels the problem can wait until the next available appointment within a
24 hour time frame.
Abuse and especially domestic violence where there is
no immediate risk of violence.
Urgent Problems (usually within 3 days)
- Symptoms of psychological and social problems that disrupt important
- Behavior or a pattern of symptoms that may lead to crisis in the near
- Exposure to or involvement in a traumatic event or experience
characterized by dangerous circumstances, a loss of life, a serious injury, a life
threatening experience or physical assault.
Routine (usually within 1 week)
Behavior or a pattern of symptoms that may lead to
additional problems, become more difficult to change, or urgent problems in the future
(but not immediate future).
The person is competent, knowledgeable and familiar
with the current problem or issue, and based on that knowledge, is comfortable and willing
to wait for a convenient appointment.
copyright 2002 to 2008, Michael G. Conner