MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS: Dealing with an emotional mental health crisis

By Dr. Judy Cook
Special to the Herald Democrat
Dr. Judy Cook

Most people have some idea of what to do when they, or someone they love, have a physical issue, but many of them are short on ideas for getting help with mental issues, especially in a crisis, because the information isn’t nearly as easy to find.  The FCC will be implementing 988 as the new suicide crises number, but not until 2022, and that doesn’t help with the huge number of other things besides suicide that can also be a problem.  Fortunately, there is now a web site called ‘Here for Texas’ and it is a wonderful and incredibly useful site not just for urgent crises, but for a wide array of other mental health related issues. 

Most importantly, when you go to the site – – there are 2 buttons that are immediately and always available.  First is the red button at the top right of the screen that says ‘Get Help Now’ and lists several important numbers, in addition to the suicide crisis line, that you can turn to for help. This eliminates the need to frantically go looking for the Suicide Crises Center or other help resources when time may be an important variable. The other is a white button that says ‘Search For Providers’  and has a listing not just of the providers in the search area you designate, but also tells you about them – their education, types of patients they see,  diseases they treat,  where there office is, what types of payment they accept,  and so on.  It far exceeds any information the Yellow Pages used to supply you about providers. 

If the site provided only this information, it would be a wonderful asset to have, but it goes far beyond that, providing information you would do well to read. Things like warning signs – whether in yourself or someone else – that help may be needed and some of the avenues of help you may not even be aware of for getting it.  Much of this is information I often dispensed to my patients and their families, including other places you may need help from, how to prepare for your visit to the therapist and other similarly important information.

I would like to add that this site was one of the results produced by a family that went through the death of their son by suicide.  Much to their credit, they are constantly looking for new ways to spare others from the same tragedy they experienced, and then they enlarged on it to encompass more of the entire mental health field as well.  Do yourself and the ones you love a big favor and go to that site and learn from it.

Dr. Judy Cook is a retired Psychiatrist with extensive experience as a Public Speaker and Bestselling author, who lives in Sherman. Read a variety of her behavioral health articles on The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Herald Democrat.