Not sure how to handle a specific situation? Our situational guidelines can help you navigate through situations you may encounter.
Emergency vs. Non-emergency Situations
You may find yourself in an emergency or non-emergency situation. Here’s how you can tell the difference.
- In an emergency, respond right away for the sake of someone’s health and well-being.
- Immediately figure out the best way to intervene. Get others involved and be clear and direct with any requests.
- Call for help if you need it. Remember, the Department Public Safety is only a quick phone call away at (413) 748-5555.
Examples of emergency situations include the following.
- Someone who’s clearly had too much to drink
- A potential sexual assault
- A friend who is suicidal
- In non-emergency situations, take time to figure out how to respond.
- Interrupt, distract, and/or delay a situation that you think might be problematic, before it becomes an emergency. Non-emergencies can turn into emergencies quickly, so have a backup plan ready.
- Determine the goal of the intervention. What do you want to have as an outcome? Is your goal realistic? A lot of times people need to hear something over and over before they seek help.
- Think about and practice what you want to say. Be prepared for a negative reaction. People can feel attacked when confronted and can get angry and defensive. Assure them that you care about them.
- Use your resources. Maybe you’d prefer that the coach have a hard conversation with them. That’s OK–by getting someone else involved, you’re still doing something.
Examples of non-emergency situations include the following.
- Someone is using demeaning language
- When you’re feeling concerned about a friend’s mental health
- Substance use
- Disordered eating patterns