How to Calm a Mental Health Patient: 10 Tips

If you’re working with a mental health patient who is experiencing a crisis, it’s important to keep them calm. Here are 10 tips on how to do just that.

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Mental health patients can be some of the most challenging patients to care for. They may be experiencing a range of emotions, from anger and fear to sadness and isolation, and may act out in ways that are harmful to themselves or others. As a carer, it’s important to be able to recognise when a patient is becoming agitated or distressed, and know how to best support them.

Here are 10 tips on how to calm a mental health patient:

1. Stay calm yourself. It’s important that you remain calm and composed when caring for a mental health patient, as they will mirror your own emotions. If you become agitated or distressed, it will only exacerbate their condition.

2. Listen carefully. Pay attention to what the patient is saying, both verbally and through their body language. Show that you’re interested and willing to listen without judgement.

3. Respect their personal space. Don’t crowd the patient or invade their personal space, as this can make them feel trapped and exacerbate feelings of anxiety or paranoia.

4. Use soothing tones of voice. Speak slowly and calmly, using a gentle tone of voice. This will help to relax the patient and make them feel more at ease.

5. Offer reassurance. Reassure the patient that they are safe and that you are there to help them. This can help to reduce feelings of anxiety or fear.

6. Avoid making sudden movements or loud noises. Sudden movements or loud noises can startle the patient and trigger an escalations in their condition. Move slowly and deliberately, making as little noise as possible.

7. Don’t argue with the patient. Remember that the patients perception of reality may be different from yours, so arguing with them will only make things worse.. If they become agitated or aggressive, try to deflect their attention onto something else until they have calmed down.. For example, you could ask them about their hobbies or interests, or offer them a drink of water.. Anything that will take their mind off whatever is causing them distress.. Once they have calmed down, you can then try reasoning with them.. But always remain respectful and avoid getting into an argument.. 8.. Use distractions.. If the patient is becoming fixated on negative thoughts or intrusive memories , try to distract them with something else.. This could be something physical like playing catch with a ball , or something mental like asking them to count backwards from 100.. The aim is to momentarily take their focus away from whatever is causing them distress so that they can calm down.. 9.. Be aware of your own body language.. Your own body language can play a big role in how thepatient perceives you , so it’s important to be aware of it at all times .. Make sure you keep an open posture , avoid crossing your arms ,and don’t stand too close .. Smile when appropriate but avoid looking threatening .. 10.. Seek professional help if needed .. Sometimes , despite your best efforts , you won’t be ableto calm the patient down .. If this happens , don’t hesitate to seek professional help from trained medical staff .. They will be able tomaintain control of the situation and provide the necessary care forthepatient .

The Importance of a calming environment

It is important to provide a calm and relaxing environment for a mental health patient. There are a few ways to do this:

1. Make sure the room is not too bright or too dark.
2. Use calming colors such as blue or green.
3. Try to keep the room quiet and free from noise.
4. Use soft and comfortable furniture.
5. Avoid strong smells or odors.
6. Provide plenty of cushions and blankets.
7. offer activities that can help distraction such as puzzles or books.
8. have some kind of natural element such as a plant or aquarium in the room.
9. make sure the temperature is comfortable, not too hot or too cold.
10, Use soothing music or sounds if possible

The role of the carer

As the carer of a mental health patient, you play a vital role in their treatment and recovery. Here are 10 tips on how to calm a mental health patient:

1. Establish and maintain eye contact. This will help to build trust and rapport.

2. Speak in a calm, clear voice. Avoid sounding judgmental or condescending.

3. Listen attentively. Show that you are interested in what they have to say by making good eye contact and nodding your head.

4. Avoid arguing or contradicting the patient. This will only increase their anxiety levels.

5. Reassure the patient that they are safe and that you are there to help them.

6. Avoid making any sudden movements or noises which could startle the patient.

7. Keep your hands visible at all times so the patient can see that you are not carrying any weapons.

8. Invite the patient to sit down if they seem agitated or uneasy on their feet.

9. Offer them a glass of water if they appear to be thirsty or dehydrated.

10. If the situation becomes too overwhelming for you, call for backup from another member of staff or the emergency services if necessary.”

De-escalation techniques

It’s important to remember that people who are experiencing a mental health crisis are not necessarily thinking rationally. They may be in a state of fear, agitation, or overwhelming distress. In some cases, they may be hallucinating or hearing voices. As a result, it’s important to approach them with care and compassion.

Here are 10 tips for calming a mental health patient:

1. Speak in a calm, reassuring voice.
2. Make sure the person has enough personal space and is not feeling crowded or trapped.
3. Avoid making sudden movements or loud noises.
4. Ask the person if there’s anything you can do to help them feel more comfortable.
5. Avoid argumentative or combative language.
6. validate the person’s feelings and experiences, even if you don’t agree with them.
7.’Redirect’ the person’s attention to another activity if they seem fixated on a particular topic or anxious about something specific.
8.’Reframe’ the situation in a more positive light if possible (e.g., “I know this is tough right now, but it won’t last forever”).
9.’ normalize’ what the person is feeling by letting them know that their reactions are common in people who have been through similar experiences.
10.’Encourage’ the person to seek professional help if they are struggling to cope with their current situation

Use of medication

Most mental health patients are not dangerous and pose no threat to themselves or others. However, there are a small percentage of patients who may become agitated or violent. In these cases, it is important to have a plan in place to calm the patient and prevent any harm.

One of the first steps is to try to talk to the patient and see if there is anything that can be done to help them calm down. This might include listening to their concerns, helping them to relax, or providing distractions. If the patient is still becoming more agitated, then medication may be necessary.

There are a variety of medications that can be used to calm a mental health patient, but they should only be used as a last resort. These medications can have side effects and should only be used under the supervision of a medical professional. Some of the most common medications include:

– Benzodiazepines: This class of medication includes drugs like Valium and Ativan. They work by reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.
– Antipsychotics: These drugs are typically used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They can also be effective in treating severe agitation.
– Antidepressants: These medications are commonly used to treat depression, but they can also be helpful in reducing anxiety and agitation.

If you are concerned about a mental health patient becoming agitated or violent, it is important to talk to their doctor or psychiatric nurse about the best course of action.

Use of physical restraints

The use of physical restraints is a last resort when working with mental health patients. But if you find yourself in a situation where you need to use them, here are 10 tips to help you stay safe:

1. Make sure the patient is truly a danger to themselves or others before using restraints.
2. Never use restraints as punishment.
3. Explain to the patient why you’re using restraints and how long they will be in place.
4. Use the least restrictive type of restraint possible.
5. Monitor the patient closely while they are restrained.
6. Check on the patient regularly to make sure they’re comfortable and not in distress.
7. Never leave the patient alone while they’re restrained.
8. Be prepared to release the restraints immediately if the patient’s condition changes or they become agitated.
9. Document everything about the use of restraints, including why they were necessary and how the patient responded.
10. debrief with your team after the situation is over to debrief and learn from what happened

Managing aggression

If a patient becomes agitated or violent, there are a few steps you can take to try to diffuse the situation.

1. Remain calm yourself. It’s important to stay in control of your emotions and not let the patient’s behavior escalate your own stress level.

2. Try to understand what might be causing the agitation. Is the patient feeling claustrophobic, anxious, or in pain? If you can identify the trigger, you may be able to help the patient calm down by addressing the underlying issue.

3. Speak calmly and quietly. Avoid yelling or sounding threatening in any way.

4. Avoid physical touch if possible, but if you must touch the patient, do so gently and without restraint.

5. Don’t take the aggression personally. Remember that the patient is not acting rationally and is not deliberately trying to hurt or intimidate you.

6. Try to defuse the situation with humor if appropriate. A gentle joke can sometimes diffused tension and help a patient relax.


Post-incident support

It’s important to provide post-incident support to mental health patients in order to help them calm down and prevent further episodes. Here are 10 tips on how to do so:

1. Keep the environment calm and quiet. Remove any potential triggers from the environment, such as loud noise or bright lights.

2. Provide assurance and reassurance. Remain calm and reassuring throughout the incident, providing a sense of stability for the patient.

3. Use short, simple sentences. Avoid long, complex sentences which may overwhelm or confuse the patient.

4. Stay close, but don’t crowd. Maintain a close physical proximity to the patient without crowding them, respecting their personal space.

5. Avoid touch if possible. Touch can be experienced as threatening or overwhelming, so avoid it if possible. If necessary, touch should be gentle and non-threatening (e.g., resting a hand on their shoulder).

6. Don’t argue or confront the patient. This will only escalate the situation and result in further distress for the patient.

7. Use active listening skills. Pay attention to what the patient is saying and reflect back their feelings in order to validate their experience (e.g., “It sounds like you’re feeling really scared right now”).

8. Help them focus on their breathing. deep breathing can help to calm both the mind and body, so encourage the patient to focus on taking slow, deep breaths through their nose, expanding their stomach as they inhale fully


In conclusion, there are many ways to help calm a mental health patient. The most important thing is to be patient, respectful and understanding. Remember that each person is different and what works for one person may not work for another. If you are unsure about how to handle a situation, it is always best to ask for help from a professional.

Further reading

If you are struggling to deal with a mental health patient, there are some things you can do to help calm them down. These tips can be used in combination with medication and other treatments.

1. Try to stay calm yourself. This can be difficult, but it is important to remember that your own emotions will influence the patient.

2. Listen to what the patient is saying and try to understand their perspective.

3. Do not argue with the patient or tell them they are wrong.

4. Avoid making any promises that you cannot keep.

5. Reassure the patient that they are safe and that you are there to help them.

6. Encourage the patient to express their feelings in a constructive way, such as through writing or art.

7. Help the patient to develop a positive self-image and sense of self-worth.

8. Encourage the patient to take care of their physical health by eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep.

9. Help the patient to develop coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and difficult emotions.

10. Seek professional help if you are struggling to cope yourself or if the situation appears to be beyond your control.

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