One of my war veteran clients had a mental breakdown recently, so much so that he couldn’t even physically talk.
He was triggered and just "lost it", throwing his medication down the toilet, punching walls and banging his head off the wall before storming out of his house and jumping into his car.
Obviously this was extremely concerning for his wife who rang me extremely upset and worried, asking what she should do.
I tried contacting the client a few different ways however he wouldn't/couldn't answer and we had no other choice but to contact the police through fear he was going to cause himself harm.
Thankfully the police had found him parked up in his vehicle but then the stand off begun.
It seems to me that the police handed this situation very well, however the client was becoming even more stressed and concerned as he felt he was wasting the emergency services resources, considering there was a fire engine, ambulance, several police cars, a police van, two police negotiators and armed response.
This standoff lasted approximately 5 hours however as soon as the client could actually speak again he rang me and I was on scene within 10 minutes as I happened to be close by. When I arrived I was approached by the negotiators and I asked them what they needed to happen. I won't go into what that was because it would give too much information away and I want to protect the client's identity however all I said to the police negotiators was "give me 5 mins" and I walked to where my client was,
With no exaggeration I was driving the client to his home within 2 minutes, which instantly released 99% of the emergency services who were in attendance.
A police officer drove my car back to the house, I had a brief chat with the him and he was happy to leave, as there was nothing more the emergency services could do that I couldn't do myself, but that doesn't bring this matter to an end.
Obviously my client needs further help and support and I will provide that for him and he is aware that he is surrounded by support from others too, however it would fair to say that it was the relationship between client and counsellor that was the powerful force here and should never be underestimated, it's proof that talking to a qualified professional works, you've just got to get the "right" counsellor for you and that powerful client counsellor relationship will build.
Moving forwards my client and I devised a way that should he have a breakdown and be unable to even speak again that he can let me know he's "mandown" and also his exact location without the need to even call me.
This will save emergency services resources, save his dignity, integrity and pride.
Now you might not have 24/7 access to a qualified counsellor I understand that, however you may know someone who you trust that you can adopt a procedure in order to alert them that your "Man Down" and in need of help, even a simple text could do the trick. This can save on resources and even save life, so if you suffer with bad mental health, I encourage you to adopt an immediate action plan with someone you trust and of course get the help and support you may need.
**"Man Down" is a military term which was the appropriate language to use considering this client is a War Veteran (as am I).