Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Practice Recommendations

Recommendation Type of Evidence
1 Use brief intervention approaches with persons in crisis to reduce symptoms of crisis and increase motivation for change and other health improvements



Support persons experiencing a crisis to engage meaningfully and safely in a critical incident stress debriefing process within 24 to 72 hours post-crisis in order to reduce distress and improve mental health.

Ib, V
3 Create crisis plans in collaboration with persons experiencing crisis using   strength-based approaches. Ib, IV

Facilitate access for persons experiencing crisis to community-based outreach support (including outreach visits and mobile crisis teams), as well as appropriate health-care providers, peer support workers, and mental health and substance use services

Ia, IV, V

Engage peers trained in evidence-based approaches such as psychological first aid to provide comfort and support to persons experiencing crisis.


Encourage utilization of telecommunication- and technology-based solutions for people at risk for, or experiencing, crisis as a means for receiving:

a) emergency assessment, triage, and support; and

b) psycho-education and/or online skills and tools to support coping and self-management.

Ia, Ib, V
7 In collaboration with the person and when needed, provide or refer them to additional or continued supports and services. Ia


Addiction and Mental Health
Crisis Intervention
Practice Recommendations