ACTIVE INTERVENTION

Metro Crisis Services follows a policy of active intervention throughout its services. We are biased in favor of sustaining life and health and the prevention of suicide and violence. We promote decision-making and behaviors that increase individuals’ ability to live independently, productively, and in mutually beneficial relationships with their families, friends, community, and culture.

When an individual's thinking or ability to manage his or her behavior in a pro-social, non-violent manner is impaired by a mental disorder or substance abuse, Metro Crisis Services staff will actively work to protect the individual and those affected by their behavior.

With respect to suicidal behavior, Metro Crisis Line Clinical Staff will aggressively intervene, if necessary, to keep suicidal people alive. Individuals in the throes of a suicidal crisis may not be thinking rationally; their judgment is often impaired by overwhelming emotions or distorted thoughts about the nature of their problems. Metro Crisis Line staff are expected to act to protect life.

Active Intervention in Suicide
Most individuals who come in contact with Metro Crisis Services because of suicidal urges can be de-escalated and made safe with professional counseling. There are some circumstances in which other interventions will be used, for example, when the individual has already set a suicide plan in motion, e.g., has taken a potentially-lethal overdose, is under the influence of judgment-impairing drugs, has unrestricted access to lethal weapons, etc.

The Clinical Staff of Metro Crisis Services makes a professional assessment of risk factors and protective factors before deploying aggressive intervention. The Clinician Staff will use whatever means are available to protect the suicidal person who is considered at high risk. These methods may include:

  • Identifying and locating the individual with caller ID or electronic records searches.
  • Calling a family member, neighbor or friend to assist the individual.
  • Sending the police or other first responders to the scene.


Third Party-Initiated Outreach
Metro Crisis Services staff will, on occasion, make outreach calls to potentially-suicidal individuals at the request of third parties. For example, police officers, teachers, family members, friends, may call Metro Crisis Line to get help saving the life of a suicidal individual. If the Crisis Clinician is satisfied with the veracity and good intentions of the third party, and is satisfied that the situation as described requires active intervention, the Crisis Clinician will make outreach calls to the affected individual.

Ethical and Professional Obligation
Metro Crisis Services will use active intervention methods to get suicidal persons to safety even if they refuse to get help on their own or say they don’t want help. Metro Crisis Services believes that our Clinical Staff have an ethical and professional obligation to intervene.