Skip to main content

Mainstreaming Medical Care

Dual-Diagnosis Resources


Crisis Handbook

How to cope when an adult loved one with a developmental disability experiences mental health or behavioral issues.  The purpose of this handbook is to inform and empower families so that they can more effectively advocate for an adult relative with a dual diagnosis during a mental health and/or behavioral crisis.

Family Crisis Handbook

Emergency Quick Reference Guide


Crisis are a Family Affair

Lucille Esralew, Ph.D. Clinical Administrator SCCAT & S-COPE, Trinitas Regional Medical Center

In a mental or behavioral health crisis, we all tend to focus on one identified individual.  However, I would like to suggest that this is a limited and not particularly helpful approach because crises affect all members of the family.

For the purpose of our discussion we will follow John, a hypothetical individual, age 24, who receives DDD services and who has an intellectual disability as well as a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. John's mother, Mrs. Smith, is John's primary caregiver and support person. According to our usual thinking and practice, if John has acted unsafely, resulting in his need for crisis services or hospitalization, all services leading up to, during and following hospitalization would focus on John. For the purpose of our review, all members of John's family are affected by events leading up to crisis, during crisis and in the aftermath of a mental health or behavioral emergency.  Read more.