Navigating Crisis Resource Listings

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This page offers an assortment of resources that may provide perspective, comfort, and/or tools that could be of assistance to people experiencing tough times of various sorts. These resources may also be useful for those who are providing support to a person experiencing states or circumstances that could be defined or described as “crisis.”


These resource listings are not intended to be medical advice. If you have a bodily injury requiring medical attention, please seek out appropriate care as soon as possible. The Icarus Project is not currently able to offer one-on-one support or consultation on navigating crisis. However, people are welcome to stop by and say hello on the Icarus forums, as well as reach out through our Facebook page.


This resource is part of a larger effort to create accessible resource-listings related to radical mental health and ethical, self-determined healing tools.


You can learn more about the Resource Toolkits Project here:


Here are some listings that are being developed around the topic of Navigating Crisis. There are so many amazing materials and resources out there within the Icarus community and beyond. There is much that is missing here. Please help us to fill in the blanks!





Crisis As an Opportunity for Growth and Change, by Shery Mead, survivor activist and developer of the practice Intentional Peer Support


The concept of crisis in mental health is an interesting one. In spite of the fact that many traditional theorists have viewed crisis as an opportunity for growth and as an essential experience in the context of one’s development (Erikson, 1976), we in mental health want to medicate it, lock it up, and restrain it. We have forgotten that perhaps there is something we can learn from this experience, something that will enable us to “do” it differently and understand ourselves in new ways.

- S. Mead




When you or someone close to you goes into

crisis, it can be the scariest thing to ever

happen. You don’t know what to do, but it

seems like someone’s life might be at stake or

they might get locked up, and everyone around

is getting stressed and panicked. Most people

have either been there themselves or know a

friend who has been there. Someone’s

personality starts to make strange changes,

they’re not sleeping or sleeping all day, they lose

touch with the people around them, they

disappear into their room for days, they have

wild energy and outlandish plans, they start to

dwell on suicide and hopelessness, they stop

eating or taking care of themselves, or they start

taking risks and being reckless. They become a

different person. They’re in crisis.

The word “crisis” comes from a root meaning

“judgment.” A crisis is a moment of great

tension and meeting the unknown. It’s a turning

point when things can’t go on the way they

have, and the situation isn’t going to hold. Could

crisis be an opportunity for breakthrough, not

just breakdown? Can we learn about each other

and ourselves as a community through crisis?

Can we see crisis as an opportunity to judge a

situation and ourselves carefully, not just react

with panic and confusion or turn things over to

the authorities?


- from Navigating Crisis, The Icarus Project


The Icarus Project. Navigating Crisis.

Downloadable pamphlet, 4 pages, uploaded 2009.


What is it?

Navigating Crisis is a brief pamphlet that provides an overview of how to assist someone when they are experiencing emotional/psychological/spiritual crisis, and provides advice on how to ensure your own wishes are respected if you are in crisis. It emphasises the possibility that a crisis can be a breakthrough, not just a breakdown.




Mapping Our Madness: A Workbook for Navigating Crisis, Extreme States, or Just Foul Moods - Re-Released. Downloadable zine, uploaded 2012.



Download at

Print copies available at

What is it?

This anonymous zine functions as an extended ‘note to self’, comprising several headings to be filled in by the user for reference in times of crisis.


Who wrote it?

The zine is anonymous. It is available at, a blog that collates critiques of mainstream psychiatry and psychiatric pharmaceuticals, in English and German.



The headings cover ground such as ‘Signs of oncoming crisis’; ‘Triggers’; ‘My immediate needs’; and ‘Spaces I feel safe in’. The pages are to be written in, modified, replaced, or augmented in whatever way seems appropriate and useful when you’re feeling good, to create a record of, and manual for, what you know you’ll need if you enter an extreme state and have difficulty remembering or communicating those needs.



Crisis Planning  - Documents from Wellness Recovery Action Plan

These crisis planning (with psychiatric advance directive documents) and post-crisis planning documents are part of the evidence-based practice Wellness Recovery Action Plan, and are available for download here:


Alternatives to Suicide - Western Mass. Recovery Learning Community


Historically, people have believed that it was too dangerous to offer peer-to-peer support groups focused on the topic of suicide without a clinician present.  There are many myths and fears around this sort of group and around suicide in general.  However, as a community we have found strength in coming together to talk about many 'taboo' topics and to support one another in our times of greatest distress. - Alternatives to Suicide


Will Hall on Suicide (extended clip from "Make Me Normal")

[Click image to view video]

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Direct link:


●  Six Ways You Can Really Help Prevent Suicide – by Leah Harris

I tried to kill myself when I was 14. It wasn’t the first time. My psychiatrist had just upped my Prozac, a whole lot of unresolved early childhood trauma had flared up at puberty, and the baseline sadness and confusion I felt mushroomed into an overwhelming desire to die. The thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone: Everything I could think of circled back only to suicide. I wrote out a suicide note and made an attempt.  I won’t go into the horrors of waking up alive in an emergency room where the staff was clearly annoyed they had to deal with me and my “attention seeking” behavior.”


●  Living with suicidal feelings  — By Will Hall


It’s time for a new understanding of suicidal feelings. Is it really best to force someone into the hospital when they are suicidal? Do suicidal feelings plus “risk factors” really mean professionals can predict whether someone might try to kill themselves? And are suicidal feelings the symptom of a treatabl

illness that should include medication prescription?”










Navigating Extreme States that may be clinically referred to as Psychosis


Beyond Meds: Psychosis recovery: stories, information and resources


Intervoice – the International Hearing Voices Network


What is it?

Intervoice is an international organization that conducts research on the phenomenon of voice-hearing and other experiences commonly labelled as ‘psychosis.’ It also provides support to voice-hearers through its online resources and as the umbrella group for a network of local hearing voices groups.



Articles exploring personal and historical stories of voice-hearing:


Introductory guides and resource recommendations for coping with distressing voices:


List of national, regional and local hearing voices affiliates: (under ‘useful websites’ heading, halfway down the page)


Coping Strategies for Hearing Voices from New Zealand Hearing Voices


The Icarus Project, Discussion Forum:

Alternate Dimensions or Psychotic Delusions?

Hall, Will. Crash Course in Urban Shamanism from The Icarus Project website. Published 11 March 2005.



What is it?

“Crash Course in Urban Shamanism” by Will Hall is a brief article on applying the concept of the shaman as wounded healer to contemporary life. The article is a rough guide for different ways of interacting with and participating in the world for those who may experience struggles related to spiritual, perceptual, and/or ethical realms of existence.




What is a Warm Line and What Should I Expect When I Call One? by C. Grossberg


“A warm line is an alternative to a crisis line that is run by “peers,” generally those who have had their own experiences of trauma that they are willing to speak of and acknowledge. Unlike a crisis line, a warm line operator is unlikely to call the police or have someone locked up if they talk about suicidal or self-harming thoughts or behaviors. Most warm line operators have been through extreme challenges themselves and are there primarily to listen. A warm line has the purpose of reducing hospitalization and forced treatment, being a cost effective and non-intrusive, voluntary intervention.”

National Mental Health Consumers Self-Help Clearinghouse Warmline Index:

If anyone has ideas about how to make some of these perspectives into a sweet little pamphlet or zine - that really gets made and comes into existence - please give a holler to with the subject line WANT TO HELP WITH CRISIS RESOURCE, or something of that nature.

Thanks for checking out this article! 


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