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.

Emergency Situations

  • 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

Non-emergency Situations

  • 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