Some people in the social work fields are known as mandated reporters. These people must pass-on information they learn if they feel there is a threat to personal life or property by a person in crisis. The line between confidentiality and mandated reporting is not clear and distinct, which adds to the complexities of knowing when you should, or should not, say something to the authorities.
- Is there a definite threat or plan made?
- Is the person in crisis out of control?
Do not leave the person alone, if at all possible. Make the appropriate call and wait for proper assistance to arrive. Think of this as a handshake and hand-off of the person’s care. An appropriate authority figure is your supervisor, a licensed psychologist, a social worker, emergency medical technician, or police officer. Assure them they are safe, and no harm is intended. IT IS A SCARY TIME FOR YOU BOTH!