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RACINE, KENOSHA COUNTIES — Mental Health Crisis Cards are available through the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH) for free.

As exciting as it is to start a new school year, it can also be overwhelming. The stress of school can be daunting not only at the start of the year but all year long. The use of a Mental Health Crisis Card can be beneficial for students to navigate mental health symptoms they may experience.

“Let people know how to help you when you are experiencing a mental health crisis or agitated state,” says the office.

Mental Health Crisis Card
Front and back of the Mental Health Crisis Card – Credit: OCMH

How it works

According to OCMH, when completed, the card notifies others on what to do immediately when they are with a person who is experiencing a mental health crisis. The idea of the card is to de-escalate the situation within the first five minutes.

Completed by the person carrying it, the card includes calming strategies, what works and what does not in a crisis situation.

Those with mental health conditions, diagnosed or undiagnosed, should carry a card. Anyone can experience stress and experience crisis.

On the card, children and parents can list emergency information and what methods can lead to resolving a stressful situation.

How to complete


The first step to completing and having it ready for the school year is downloading the card. It can be found online or downloaded off the Racine County Eye below. It then should be printed out.

Print and complete

Next, list the calming strategies that help you or your child on the printed-out card.

Notify others

When stressed, give it to a nearby individual for help. This could occur before a test, prior to lunch or randomly throughout the school day, or even before or after school.

Examples of what to write

The following calming strategies are suggested by OCMH to write on the card including:

  • Don’t talk to me – I need to be quiet
  • Let me calm down – I will talk to you when I am ready
  • Bring me to a quiet place
  • Talk with a friend/peer
  • Talk to an adult
  • Let me draw
  • Listen to music
  • A cold cloth on my face
  • Read a book
  • Write in a journal
  • Hold ice in my hand
  • Provide male support
  • Provide female support
  • Get a hug
  • Breathe deep
  • Cry
  • Pace
  • Rock

Additional phrases and advice can be written on the card.

Why carry it?

“Youth know what calms them better than anyone else. When people follow calming strategies a
young person has identified, negative impacts can be reduced or eliminated. The crisis situation
can be avoided and youth will feel safe and understood,” shared the OCMH.

Mental Health Resources

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Office of Children’s Mental Health supports Wisconsin’s children in achieving their optimal mental health and well-being.

More information and resources, such as this “Feelings Thermometer,” can be located on the OCMH website.

Mental Health Crisis Card, feelings thermometer
OCMH Feelings Thermometer – Credit: OCMH

Community Resources


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