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Psychological Emergency/Crisis

A psychological emergency is: a situation where there is an imminent risk of harm. It requires immediate response. It includes, but is not limited to: risk of suicide; risk of physical harm to others; states of serious impaired judgment in which an individual is endangered (e.g., self-injury or mutilation); and situations of risk to defenseless victims (e.g., sexual assault, or abuse).

A psychological crisis is: when an individual is not threatening harm - but is experiencing acute disruption of psychological balance - and there is evidence of distress and functional impairment (e.g., extreme grief, moderate/severe anxiety and/or depression).


Student/Faculty/Staff Action

  1. Never try to handle a situation you feel is dangerous on your own.
  2. Notify the University Police Department of the situation, dial extension 4444 (if calling from on-campus), or 302.857.7911 (if calling from off-campus).
  3. Clearly state that you need immediate assistance, give your name, your location and the area involved.

University Police Action:

  1. If the student has made a suicide attempt or gesture, call emergency services (911) immediately.
  2. If the student has not made an attempt, but is having ideas, thinking and talking about committing suicide, call the DSU On-call Counselor (see on-call listing maintained at dispatch).
  3. If the On-call Counselor cannot be reached, call the Delaware Crisis Intervention Service (Mobile Crisis) at 1-800.345.6785.
  4. If none of the above can be reached contact Dover Behavioral Health System (DBHS) at 302.741.0140. DBHS is a 24-hour, 7-Day per week facility. However, students must have medical insurance to be treated. DBHS is located at: 725 Horsepond Road, Dover, DE 19901
  5. For students with medical insurance: Arrange transportation to DBHS.
  6. For students without medical insurance: Arrange transportation to the Kent General Hospital Emergency Room.


If the student is not threatening suicide but is experiencing extreme emotional distress (such as grief, anxiety, or depression), ask them to call one of the numbers below:

  • DSU Counseling Office (Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30) 302.857.7381
  • DSU On-call Counselor (after hours) 302.857.7911
  • Delaware Crisis Intervention Service (DCIS) 800.345.6785
  • Dover Behavioral Health System (DBHS) 302.741.0140
  • Delaware CONTACTLIFELINE 800.262.9800
  • Sexual Assault Hotline 800.656.HOPE