Be Well, Think Well: Emergency Room for Mental Health Social Stories


This series of social stories provides visual guides on what it is like to go to the ER or an inpatient psychiatric mental hospital for a mental health crisis. The social stories are also available in short, animated videos.

Graphic of Man with Hands in the air, he is stressed.

Sometimes I may feel very sad, or angry or anxious.

Graphic of man lying in bed, he is feeling depressed.

I may not want to get out of bed or go to school or work.

Image of a man sitting cross legged, his head in sin his hands, he is angry.

I may have thoughts about hurting myself or someone else.

Graphic of a woman sitting on a couch talking with a counselor.

If I feel like this or have these thoughts for many days, I should tell a trusted adult like a therapist, parent, counselor, staff, teacher or friend.

Graphic of a woman talking to a counselor, they are making her feel better.

They can help me get help for my thoughts and feelings.

Graphic of doors leading to an Emergency Room.

If my thoughts and feelings get worse, I may need to go to the Emergency Department for help.

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Graphic of man checking into the Emergency Department, he is talking to a woman at a desk.

When I get to the emergency room I will need to check in at the desk.

Graphic of a nurse writing things down on a clipboard, she is asking questions.

A nurse will ask questions to see what kind of help I need.

Graphic of a thermometer and blood pressure cuff.

The nurse will take my temperature and blood pressure.

Graphic of a waiting room.

I may need to wait in the waiting room.

Graphic of a busy waiting room, there are many people sitting together.

There may be many people in the waiting room with lots of noises.

Graphic of a man talking to a nurse, he is asking her questions.

If there are too many people or too much noise I can ask for a quiet place to go.

Graphic of an examination table and a chair sitting in an empty room.

I may go into a room that just has a bed and a chair in it.

Graphic of a door, it is locked.

They may lock the door to the room to help me stay safe.

Graphic of a boy sitting in a room talking to a family member.

My family, staff or a trusted adult can stay with me in the room.

Graphic of a man talking to a doctor about his feelings.

I will talk to different doctors and nurses about the thoughts and feelings I’m having.

Graphic of different medications.

The doctors and nurses may give me medicine to help me feel better and relax.

Graphic of a man sitting in a hospital bed.

I may need to stay in the hospital for a few days to get more help.

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Graphic of a woman lying in a hospital bed, she is talking to a doctor.

After being in the emergency room I may need to stay in the hospital or go to a different hospital to get more help.

Graphic of a Doctor standing in a room, she is smiling.

This is called an inpatient psychiatric hospitalization.

Graphic of a man talking to a counselor, they are discussing his feelings.

I may go to therapy sessions a few times a day to talk about my thoughts and feelings.

Graphic of medications and a clipboard with a treatment plan on it.

Doctors may prescribe medication to help me feel better.

Graphic of computers and cell phones with a red X threw them, they are not allowed.

The hospital will have rules I need to follow. I may not be able to keep my phone or laptop with me.

Graphic of a woman walking away from a hospital, she has been discharged.

After a few days or weeks when I am feeling better, I will be able to leave the hospital.

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Animated Social Stories

Going to the Emergency Room for a Mental Health Crisis

In the Emergency Department for a Mental Health Crisis

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Other downloads

Name Description Type File
Going to the ER Going to the ER pdf Download file: Going to the ER
In the ER In the ER pdf Download file: In the ER
Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital pdf Download file: Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital

This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.