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Signs of a Mental Health Emergency

A mental health crisis occurs when a person’s actions, feelings, and behaviors can lead to hurting themselves or others, as well as posing a risk to self-care or not functioning well in the community. Individuals with mental illness are at greater risk of experiencing crisis. Too often, a crisis occurs before a mental illness has been diagnosed. When an individual experiences a psychiatric crisis, a trained psychiatric “screener” must evaluate the severity of symptoms to determine the number of options available for stabilization and further treatment, and whether an involuntary hospitalization may be required.

Signs of a Mental Health Emergency
  • Acts and/or threats of harm to oneself, others, or property.

  • Dramatic shifts in mood, sleeping, eating, gambling, spending money, disappearing and other forms of dangerous behavior.

  • Erratic, disorganized behavior

  • Expressing extreme fear, delusions - unreal ideas that cannot be challenged.

  • Behavior based on hallucinations - seeing and hearing people, places, or things and reacting to things that do not exist.

  • Unable to complete “activities of daily living” (ADLs) - dressing, washing, brushing teeth.

  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and social situations

Options to Access Emergency Services for Adults and Children

Emergency Screening Center

All psychiatric emergencies are routed to the psychiatric emergency evaluation (screening) center for Camden County residents. Oaks Integrated at Jefferson Hospital in Cherry Hill provides evaluation and appropriate referral to outpatient mental health services or inpatient treatment. 

2201 W. Chapel Avenue, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
HOTLINE: (856) 428-4357  -  Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Early Intervention Support Services (EISS) - is a short-term, mental health service for adults who are experiencing significant emotional or psychiatric distress and are in need of immediate intervention. EISS offers crisis intervention and crisis stabilization services in a setting that is an alternative to hospital-based emergency room treatment. Outreach (non-office-based) services are available. No appointment is required for the first visit, and services are free-of-charge.

Oaks Integrated Care
2051 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
(856) 254-3800

988 - Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States. We're committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.

You can also visit to learn more or find a link to chat

Oaks Integrated Care - IFSS

During this period of crisis, NAMI Camden County, Inc. and the Intensive Family Support Services (IFSS), the family voice on mental illness, are here for you and your family.


IFSS at Oaks Integrated Care

(856) 482-8747  Ext. 59401

19 E. Ormond Avenue, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

NAMI developed this guide, Navigating a Mental Health Crisis, to support people experiencing mental health crises, their friends and families by providing important, sometimes lifesaving information. This guide outlines what can contribute to a crisis, warning signs that a crisis is emerging, strategies to help de-escalate a crisis and resources that may be available for those affected. Also included is information about advocating for a person in crisis along with a sample crisis plan.

NAMI wants to help you navigate what can be an overwhelming time in your life by helping you understand what to expect.  Please click on the image to download a PDF file.

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