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If you’re in a situation where you or someone you know is in danger, it’s important that you first call emergency services. If the person you are with is unconscious, there are certain things you should look out for. Similarly, if someone has self-harmed, you’ll need to keep some additional things in mind.

This can help if:

  • you are hurt or injured
  • someone else is hurt or injured
  • you or someone you know has deliberately harmed themselves or attempted suicide.
Girl looking at phone with sunset

What information will emergency services want to know?

If there is an immediate danger that someone will be harmed or has been harmed seriously, call 000 (or 112 from a mobile) if you live in Australia. In the case of an accident or emergency, you need to assess the situation and have the following information ready:

  • The location of the emergency, including nearby landmarks
  • The telephone number from where your call is being made
  • What happened
  • How many people require assistance
  • Condition of those people
  • What assistance is currently being given

Don’t hang up the phone until the phone operator says so, as they may require, or need to give you, more information.

What should I do if someone is unconscious?

If someone is unconscious, there are certain things to check:

  • Do they respond in any way when you squeeze their ear lobe or shoulders?
  • Are they breathing? If not, you need to check their airways (mouth and nose) and begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Do they have a pulse? If not, you need to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Once you’ve checked the above, call 000 (or 112 from a mobile) for an ambulance. If you're unsure about how to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or CPR, emergency services can instruct you over the phone.

What should I do if someone has self-harmed?

If someone has deliberately harmed themselves, get medical help immediately. This could involve visiting a medical centre or an emergency department, depending on how severe the injury is. If the person doesn’t want to be helped or is likely to be violent, then ring the police immediately on 000 (or 112 on a mobile).

If the person agrees to go to hospital, then it’s best if you call an ambulance on 000 (or 112 on a mobile).

At the hospital, after the person has been physically checked, they will usually be assessed by a mental health professional. In larger hospitals, this person will probably be a psychiatrist.

What can I do now?

  • Assess your personal safety before taking any action.
  • Call emergency services on 000 (or 112 on a mobile).
  • Check out our urgent help page for other services you can reach out to.

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