Strategies for Success

Mental Health Relapse Management

Being Prepared Is Important
With schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, you may not always notice the warning signs and triggers or take action in time to prevent a relapse from happening. That’s why being prepared for these times can help you manage the crisis safely and quickly.

One strategy is to work with your treatment team during times you are feeling well to create a crisis plan. This way, you can make sure your preferences and needs are respected during times you may not be able to voice them or participate in making decisions about your treatment.


A crisis plan can include:

  • Triggers and warning signs
  • Things to do when you recognize warning signs
  • List of emergency contact information for you or your loved one’s doctor/treatment team members
  • Preferences for medication, medication history, treatments, and providers
  • List of support network members who can help

It’s a good idea to share your crisis plan with members of your treatment team and support network.

When a Relapse Is Underway, What Do You Do Now?

If you notice warning signs or feel your symptoms coming back, talk to your doctor or a trusted member of your team right away. Your doctor can check your medications to make sure they are working. He or she can also recommend other medication options if needed, offer you strategies to help remember to take them, and help you get supportive services.

Other tips for relapse management include:

  • Connect with members of your support network
  • Use stress reduction techniques (breathing, meditation, yoga)
  • Write in your journal
  • Meet with a peer counselor
  • Take time off from responsibilities

Print and use the Treatment and Recovery Log to prepare your crisis plan.