The purpose of The Mental Health Toolkit is to provide tools that are readily accessible to trained individuals when dealing with a person suffering a mental health crisis. These tools can be used individually or together, and provide evidence based practice interventions to assist in de escalating that person and getting them the help that they need. The toolkits consist of the following items, each of which include a small description of how those items may be used in the field.
1. Water and Consumables
Both of these items help build rapport with the person you are contacting. People with mental health disorders, especially juveniles, will comply when given a demand followed by some form of consumable as a reward for complying.
2. Stuffed Animal
Stuffed animals help in two ways. They help build rapport with the person you are contacting, as well as they provide comfort to someone in a traumatic situation.
3. Glow Stick
These items are distractors. If the person is yelling and screaming, but not too aggressive, break the glow stick to use as a distractor. This will often catch their attention and they will want to try it.
4. Communication Board / Prompt Cards
These work with non-verbal or selective mute persons. They provide basic prompts for commands and pair them with picture icons to help make the message clear. It allows the person to point to communicate if they are non verbal, speak a different language, or cannot talk.
5. Headphones / Chew Necklace
These are sensory items. Often times, people with mental health disorders are affected by being overloaded with sensor stimulation. The headphones provide a quiet space and pressure to the head. The necklace allows them to bite down on something other than you.
The fidget is also a sensory item. It allows them to gain sensory input by manipulating the fidget between their fingers, in turn helping them to reduce sensory overload and return to a calmer state.
The timer provides a visual as to how long the person has to wait for whatever it is that is supposed to come next. Often times, people in an escalated state cannot process time correctly, and the visual helps them to better comprehend how much time is left until the next step in the situation.