What can I try?

Adult Interventions

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

Stay calm. Losing your cool takes the focus off of what they need to do and can make their behavior worse.


Be clear and consistent with the rules or directions. Keep it simple and matter of fact.


Explain their choices, and what the consequences will be if they choose not to listen. Make sure it is appropriate to the situation and something you are prepared to follow through with.


Give them a set amount of time to make a choice, give them space to decide, and praise them if they make a good one.


Choose your battles. Don’t waste your energy on power struggles that don’t have a purpose.


Don’t take it personally, and take your own space if you need to in order to stay calm.


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?

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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Call 9-1-1

If the youth is not responsive to these interventions, you may consider calling 9-1-1 or taking youth to the police department to be ticketed for “ungovernable” behavior. Be aware that this is a short term fix that will get youth involved in the Youth Court system. 

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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