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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 302.857.7911.
  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 transport student to Dover Behavioral Health, or Kent Gen – ER (If student is non-compliant).
  3. If it’s unclear what should be done, call the Crisis Intervention Service (Mobile Crisis) at 1.800.345.6785, or DSU Director of Counseling.
  4. Note: Dover Behavioral Health System (DBHS) at 302.741.0140 is a 24-hour, 7-Day per week facility. DBHS is located at:  725 Horsepond Road, Dover, DE 19901


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: 302.857.7381
  • Delaware Crisis Intervention Service (DCIS): 1.800.345.6785
  • Dover Behavioral Health System (DBHS): 302.741.0140
  • Delaware CONTACTLIFELINE: 1.800.262.9800
  • Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE