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What to Do During a Mental Health Crisis

All American youngsters know the rules: Don’t take candy from strangers, play nice in the sandbox and call 911 during an emergency. But what if the emergency is related to mental health? More than 4 million people visited the emergency room due to a mental health condition from 2009 to 2010, according to the latest data from the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That same year, Americans made 63.3 million visits to doctors offices, hospitals and emergency rooms for what were eventually diagnosed as mental disorders, the CDC also found. “The reality is, a mental health crisis is a common occurrence,” says Paolo del Vecchio, who directs the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Mental Health Services.

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