What can I try?

Adult Interventions

Advice for parents, teachers, counselors, and other adults.

Try to get as much information as you can about their crime. Is it a crime that an adult could be ticketed for, or is it a crime because they are a juvenile?

Does the crime have consequences for the community/non-family members? If yes, police intervention should be used. If not, determine for your family whether police intervention is appropriate at this time.

Ask about or try to find out what need they are trying to fill.

Give clear, logical, age-appropriate reasons why their behavior needs to change.   

Explain the legal consequences and be as accurate as possible.  Avoid using scare tactics you can’t follow through on.

After a reasonable amount of time when they are calm, list choices, discuss options, and work together to find a win-win solution. Set clear limits with rules empowering them to make good choices at home or school.   

Child development and Parenting resources:



24-hour response phone line # 406-461-2382 for help with a crisis.  Caution: If you are experiencing a true emergency (immediate danger of harm to self or others), call 911.

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Who can help?

Call 9-1-1

Call 9-1-1 for police response, or take youth the police department for citation if it is safe to do so.

When calling 9-1-1, be ready to give the dispatcher the right information. This includes name: phone number, address, date of birth, people involved, a description of the situation, and what kind of help you need. It may be helpful to inform the dispatcher of the child’s mental health issues so that the responding officer is aware. Remember that 9-1-1 is an emergency response, and the goal of the responding officer will be to ensure safety and move on to the next call.

There are several possible responses by law enforcement. Law enforcement may provide support to stabilize, transport youth to the Emergency Room for evaluation, write a ticket, and/or place a youth in detention. Once law enforcement arrives, the outcome is up to their discretion. See Law Enforcement for more information.

Also visit 9-1-1 Frequently Asked Questions.

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Get counseling or mental health treatment

There are several different ways to seek counseling or treatment. This includes a private therapist, a school counselor, mental health center services, and/or substance abuse treatment.

Private therapists can be a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC), or a psychologist. This is usually covered by insurance and occurs weekly or every other week. Most therapists will individualize treatment and may offer more frequent sessions if needed. Youth may also receive counseling at Schools. This may be in the form of a school counselor who is accessible to all youth. Find out from the teacher who the school counselor is and how you and/or the youth can set up a time with them. The school counselor can give you more information about services available in the school.

Youth in crisis may need more intensive support than outpatient therapy or school counseling. Mental health centers offer a variety of services: case management, in-home services, and individual and family therapy. Some mental health centers also offer medication management. 

24-hour response phone line # 406-461-2382 for help with a crisis.  Caution: If you are experiencing a true emergency (immediate danger of harm to self or others), call 911.

See below for Helena providers and tips for Selecting a Provider.

Contact Information

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