Crisis Plan

Rest easier knowing you are prepared to handle any crisis or adverse situation using our Crisis Plan.

By Priya Singh on Jun 20, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is a Crisis Plan?

A Crisis Plan is a resource to help clients and those around them prevent and prepare for emergencies. The plan provides all information before, during, and immediately after a crisis, all in one place. This allows for quick, effective responses, which are much needed to address these situations and reduce harm to individuals or those around them. 

A crisis can occur spontaneously and often escalates quickly. A plan can help individuals and practitioners identify, prepare, and prevent future crises (Amaresan, S., 2022). Additionally, the plan can provide actions and steps to de-escalate a situation and reduce potential harm (Wang & Gupta, 2023). Using our Crisis Plan Template ensures that all essential details and information relating to crisis management exist in one place, providing manageable steps to alleviate the situation for clients and those around them (Asana, n.d.).  

The Crisis Plan comprises various sections that may prevent or reduce the effects of a crisis. Each section varies in information, ranging from the warning signs of a crisis to emergency service contacts who can help and how to prevent reoccurrence (Amaresan, 2022). These can help identify when a crisis is occurring and the ways to manage it depending on the level of severity. 

Printable Crisis Plan

Download this Crisis Plan to help people prevent and prepare for emergencies.

How does it work?

The Crisis Plan is a visual resource that allows quick and easy access to information required to de-escalate a situation. The template breaks down the steps into simple steps, which begin with client actions at a primary level before providing contacts for support individuals and emergency services. Here are some steps that may guide a client’s Crisis Plan:

Step 1: Download our template

You can access a copy of our Crisis Plan Template here or download a printable PDF copy for reference.

Step 2: Client consultation

Provide your client a copy of the template, and discuss how this resource may benefit them. In this consultation, it is essential to address any concerns or questions the client may have and emphasize that this is a crisis plan that can help prevent or prepare for a situation. It is not a form of treatment. 

Step 3: Collaboratively work through each section

Your client may have the information and tools to fill in each section. However, they may feel more confident with your oversight. This step may be challenging for clients at times. Therefore, it is recommended to work alongside clients, providing guidance or suggestions where required. 

Step 4: Retain a copy

Keeping a copy of the client’s completed Crisis Plan within patient records may be beneficial for future use. The client may also choose to disseminate copies with individuals in their support system and others in the broader care team, such as friends, parents, or general practitioners. 

Crisis Plan example (sample)

The nature of a crisis means that it is often spontaneous and can look different depending on the individual or situation. This can make planning and prevention challenging when the future is uncertain. To help solidify your understanding, we have created an example template to give you an idea of what each section may look like. 

The example uses information based on a fictitious client, so we recommended this resource be used as a reference when devising a client’s plan. Additionally, this should not substitute individual recommendations or health advice. 

The sample can be accessed here or downloaded as a PDF copy using the link below:

Download the Crisis Plan example

Crisis Plan example (sample)

When would you use this template?

The template can be implemented for a variety of practices requiring a way to manage and prevent crises from occurring. It never hurts to be prepared, and it is incredibly beneficial for everyone involved to be on the same page. This means that clients and those around them can relax their energy or spend extra time seeking solutions under pressure. 

Health practitioners such as clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, or social workers may find the template beneficial to: 

  • Developing crisis communication plans: The plan can accelerate the release of information, ensuring everyone is on the same page when managing a severe situation. 
  • Developing mental health crisis plans: Mental health practitioners, such as psychologists, may encourage clients to develop a crisis plan to manage situations such as depressive episodes or panic attacks. This may help clients identify when they are beginning an episode for early intervention or provide contacts of support and emergency services they can contact when things become less manageable. 
  • Risk analysis: The first section of the template can help clients and support systems identify risks for a crisis. This may guide crisis prevention, as removing risk factors or reducing their effects may mitigate the chances of a crisis occurring. 

The template can be incredibly beneficial for any other professional or organization with an increased risk of harm or crisis exposure. By accessing our Free Crisis Plan Template, individuals and practitioners can reduce the severity and recurrence of these situations.

Benefits of a Crisis Plan 


A Crisis plan can provide a visual reference to be kept digitally or printed for a physical copy. This means that clients and trusted support individuals can access the document remotely whenever needed. 

Client empowerment

Providing opportunities for clients to inform their Crisis Plan can enhance self-determination and help them regain power. This can promote active engagement in further treatment interventions and resilience during adversity. 

Interventions at every level

The template offers escalating intervention levels depending on the severity of the situation. At times, the problem can be contained at the individual level, while at other times, it may require intervention from emergency or support services. The Crisis Plan is flexible for practical application to each level. 

Proactive management

The first section of the template identifies potential risks or signals that a crisis may occur, allowing for early intervention. Additionally, pre-planning actions to overcome a crisis will enable individuals and those around them to follow an effective procedure. This can reduce feelings of panic or stress, which may otherwise arise under high-pressure situations. 

Transparent relationship

Having clients actively involved in treatment or intervention processes, like developing a crisis plan, encourages a collaborative therapeutic relationship. This ensures that treatment is transparent, relying on engagement and effective partnerships between yourself and the client. 

Research & evidence

Research and evidence regarding the effectiveness of crisis plans is ongoing. However, literature often reports these resources as outstanding approaches for prevention and response. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2021) is one of many reputable organizations recommending crisis plans for clients experiencing severe mental health challenges and enhancing therapeutic relationships between patients and practitioners (Cassivi et al., 2023). 

In times of stress where fear and uncertainties are high, it can be easy to make poor decisions that escalate a crisis. Developing a crisis plan can help focus priorities and actions toward mitigating damage or harm. Additionally, creating a plan may help individuals become more aware of risks, reduce risks, and take empowered steps to prevent the crisis (Cassivi et al., 2023; Marker, 2020/2023). 

As observed in qualitative studies, crisis plans in healthcare contexts have been demonstrated to enhance the therapeutic. This is because the plans provide professionals with a better understanding of the user’s aspirations and life goals, allowing them to provide satisfactory care and enhance patient experiences (Ferrari et al., 2018); cited in (Cassivi et al., 2023). In particular, crisis plans have been associated with reduced involuntary hospitalizations following mental health crises (de Jong et al., 2016); cited in (Cassivi et al., 2023). 

Why use Carepatron as your Crisis Plan app?

Carepatron is the ideal platform for your practice management, particularly for crisis preparation and prevention. 

At Carepatron, our vision is to provide practical management solutions to support your practice in providing the best patient care. Our Crisis Plan app and software give you access to our template and thousands of other resources to guide your planning. This can help ensure that your patients, staff, and other support personnel have the tools to manage adverse situations and prevent harm. 

As an online platform, our Crisis Plan Template can be accessed anywhere, at any time. This is particularly advantageous, as crises often occur spontaneously. Additionally, our patient portal allows patients to access their plan from their mobile device laptop or print a physical copy to have on hand at all times. Furthermore, this can empower patients to engage with interventions and encourage a transparent therapeutic relationship. 

With easy sharing on demand, the software allows clinical documentation and information to be shared across team members. This may benefit general practitioners, psychologists, and trusted support networks working in alliance to support the individual. 

Using Carepatron’s Crisis Plan app and software, you can ensure a proactive approach to emergencies, helping yourself, your clients, and those around them feel prepared and prevent future events. 

General Practice Software


Amaresan, S. (2022). 10 Crisis Communication Plan Examples (and How to Write Your Own).

Asana (n.d.). Crisis management plan template. Asana.

Carepatron (n.d.). Mental Health Crisis Plan. Carepatron.

Cassivi, C., Sergerie-Richard, S., Saint-Pierre, B., & Goulet, M. (2023). Crisis plans in mental health: A scoping review. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 32(5), 1259-1273.

Rosenberg, C. R. (2017). Assessing the Utility of a Crisis Plan for Individuals with Neurodevelopmental and Behavioural Dual Diagnoses.

Wang, D., & Gupta, V. (2023). Crisis Intervention. StatPearls Publishing LLC.

How do you create a Crisis Plan Template?
How do you create a Crisis Plan Template?

Commonly asked questions

How do you create a Crisis Plan Template?

You can begin creating a Crisis Plan by identifying the potential signals that a crisis may occur, such as feelings, followed by steps to manage the crisis and contacts you can reach out to. This process is broken down in our customizable Crisis Plan Template that you can use as a reference.

When are Crisis Plan Templates used?

Crisis Plan Templates are used in various scenarios requiring a way to manage and prevent crises. A client typically creates the plan alongside a healthcare professional, but copies of the plan may be given to trusted support networks if the client wishes. 

How are the Crisis Plan Templates used?

The template provides a breakdown of manageable steps to mitigate or prevent a crisis. It includes risk identification, crisis management, safety steps, and contacts.

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