Definition Research documents give a positive outcomes for crisis

Definition

A
crisis can be explained as a situation or an event which is perceived
by an individual to have caused a sudden loss of his/her ability to
solve problems and coping skills in his/ her life. Where in crisis
intervention is
a method which is provided immediately for a short term period to
help an individual who has experienced emotional , mental , physical
and behavioral distress as an after effect of an event. Few
circumstances that can be seen to be a crisis are: situations hat are
life threatening, such as a natural disaster (Flood, earthquake),
criminal victimization such as a sexual assault or any other crime,
a medical as well as mental illness, suicidal thoughts and ideations
on oneself or others, loss of a relationship such a death of a loved
one or an intense change in the the relationship , such as a
separation or divorce.

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Purpose

Crisis
intervention has a variety of purposes such as:

Its
one of the main objective is to decrease the intensity of the
individuals reaction in attributes of emotion , mental , physical
and behavioral to a crisis.

Another
main purpose is to help an individual who has undergone a crisis to
come back to his normal life with the same functioning level as
he/she used to before facing the crisis.

Apart
from being there for the individuals , It is also a main part of
crisis intervention to enable the individuals to keep functioning to
the fullest by introducing and developing coping strategies or
skills and in taking off the ineffective coping styles or skills
such as withdrawal , isolation , intake of substance and other
unhealthy patterns of life.

Another
main aim of crisis intervention is to help the individuals to cope
better in their life difficulties. This is manly achieved by talking
to the individual what had happened and the feeling they went
through and seeking ways to cope the problems.

crisis
intervention also looks into helping the individual in recovering
from the crisis and to prevent problems in the long run which will
affect the development of the individual.

Research
documents give a positive outcomes for crisis intervention where the
main moto is decreased distress and improved problem solving.

Medical
crisis counseling

Medical
crisis counseling is defined to be a brief intervention used by a
psychology professional to help an individual addressed with
psychological problems such as, fear, depression an many more and
social problems such as family conflicts which are closely related to
chronic illnesses seen in a health care setting. It deals with
helping patients to manage stress of the idea of suffering a
worsening medical condition or a disease that is been newly
diagnosed. It lets the patients understand that their reactions and
feelings as a normal response to the stressful situating they had to
encounter and to help them get out of the distressing state and
function the way they used to before or even better. Preliminary
studies done on medical crisis counseling says that one to four
sessions is needed for the individual. Research also says that there
is a promising effect on the patients decreasing level of distress
and the improvement in their functioning.

Parents,
teachers, and other caregivers play a critical role in helping
children cope with crises. Typically, crisis caregivers respond at
the scene of a tragic event and are specially trained to assist
victims or survivors to cope with the impact of the event. Teachers
and other educators may also become crisis caregivers when the event
affects children in their care. The natural instinct is to put one’s
own needs aside and tend to children first. It is extremely
important, however, for caregivers to monitor their own reactions and
take care of their own needs. No one who responds to a crisis event
is untouched by it. All caregivers are at risk for burnout, also
known as compassion fatigue, which interferes with one’s ability to
provide crisis intervention assistance. This occurs when caregivers
experience a trauma event through listening to the story of the event
and experience emotional reactions through empathetic contact with
the survivors. This can occur in the aftermath of an immediate
crisis, like a natural disaster or terrorist attack, as well as
during extended periods of stress and anxiety, like the war in Iraq.
Following are some suggestions to help caregivers maintain their own
well-being as they support the needs of children in their care. ROLE
OF THE CAREGIVER Crisis caregivers usually include emergency response
professionals, mental health providers, medical professionals, victim
assistance counselors, and faith leaders. They are trained to handle
exposure to images of destruction and loss and to assist victims or
survivors to cope with the impact of the event. They seek to help
individuals, schools, and communities reestablish a sense of balance
in a world that seems radically out of kilter with what they
previously knew. Preparation When caregivers go to the scene of an
event to help those affected, they should have formal training in
crisis response and only go into the situation if they are invited to
do so by major authorities in the affected area. Going into such a
setting without an invitation may be perceived as an intrusion or an
invasion of privacy. Teachers and administrators are key stabilizing
elements in the lives of children, but most have had no formal
training in mental health or crisis response and intervention.
Educators who lack the requisite skills need to be careful not to go
beyond their training because they run the risk of making a very
difficult situation worse. Education and Support Caregivers help to
educate survivors with accurate information and connect them to
available resources in their community, city, or state. They also
help survivors deal with feelings of guilt, helplessness, anger,
fear, and grief. While most individuals will not require intensive
services, caregivers sometimes are needed to provide ongoing support
to individuals who are feeling anxious, stressed, and/or fearful
about the event and its impact on their future. Effective crisis
caregivers try to offer support and assistance in ways that maintain
the freedom of choice of the individual(s) in need, and they
coordinate their efforts with other crisis response activities.
Caregivers may also help frontline responders who may have
experienced the horror of death and destruction and the immediate
aftermath of an event. THE RISK AND SIGNS OF BURNOUT Caring for the
victims of crisis events is both physically and emotionally draining.
The sense of normalcy is disrupted, the services we all rely on may
not function, and the level of human need may be enormous. Need for
care may continue for an extended period of time, as in the September
2001 terrorist attacks or the
aftermath of school violence. Meeting this need can be particularly
difficult, since many crisis responders have other jobs from which
they are taking a leave of absence or are trying to conduct at the
same time. This is especially true for teachers, school mental health
professionals, and administrators who are trying to meet the needs of
students, staff members, and families while maintaining a normal
learning environment. Caregivers must understand their own
vulnerability to stress and recognize signs of burnout. Risk for
Burnout Caregivers must be aware of their own needs while at the same
time attending to the many needs of others. At the early stages of
crisis response, caregivers may have abundant energy and motivation.
Their cognitive functioning, training, and resilience make them
important assets to the children under their care. However, as a
crisis intervention continues, caregivers may find themselves
experiencing physical or psychological burnout. Images of violence,
despair, and hardship and/or continuous concern over possible danger
can contribute to feeling professionally isolated and depressed,
particularly if caregivers do not have the opportunity to process
their reactions. Successes may be ambiguous or few and far between.
In some cases, lack of sleep and limited opportunities for healthy
nourishment break down the capacity to cope effectively. Caregivers
can begin to feel more like victims than helpers. Additionally,
caregivers who have their own history of prior psychological trauma
or mental illness (including substance abuse) will be more vulnerable
to burnout, as will those who lack social and family resources. The
Warning Signs of Burnout It is important to realize that burnout
develops gradually, but its warning signs are recognizable
beforehand. These include: Cognitive N An inability to stop thinking
about the crisis, crisis victims, and/or the crisis intervention N
Loss of objectivity N An inability to make decisions and/or express
oneself either verbally or in writing N Disorientation or confusion,
or difficulty concentrating N Personal identification with crisis
victims and their families Physical N Overwhelming/chronic fatigue
and/or sleep disturbances N
Gastrointestinal problems, headaches, nausea, and other aches and
pains N Eating problems including eating too much or loss of appetite
Affective N Suicidal thoughts and/or severe depression N Irritability
leading to anger or rage N Intense cynicism and/or pessimism N
Excessive worry about crisis victims and their families N Being upset
or jealous when others are doing crisis interventions N A compulsion
to be involved in every crisis intervention N Significant agitation
and restlessness after conducting a crisis intervention Behavioral N
Alcohol and substance abuse N Withdrawal from contact with coworkers,
friends, and/or family N Impulsive behaviors N Maintaining an
unnecessary degree of contact/ follow-up with crisis victims and
their families N An inability to complete/return to normal job
responsibilities N Attempting to work independently of the crisis
intervention team PREVENTING BURNOUT AND MINIMIZING STRESS Whether it
is in the aftermath of a serious crisis or during an extended period
of high stress, the repeated stories of crisis-affected individuals,
as well as the unrelenting demand for support, may result in burnout
for even the most seasoned crisis caregivers. The risk may be higher
for teachers and other caregivers who are not trained crisis
responders. Stress management is key to effective crisis response.
Crisis caregivers can manage and alleviate stress by taking care of
themselves while helping others, thus preventing or minimizing
burnout. All crisis caregivers should consider the following personal
and professional suggestions to aid in preventing burnout. Know
Yourself and Your Role N Know your limitations and what you feel
reasonably comfortable or uncomfortable handling. N Know your own
triggers for stress. N Recognize that your reactions are normal and
occur frequently among many well-trained crisis professionals.
Understand when your own experience with trauma may interfere with
your effectiveness as a caregiver. N Recognize and heed the early
warning signs of burnout—listen to your body. N Be clear about your
role in the crisis intervention and always work as part of a team. N
Know the crisis plan in your place of work. Take Care of Yourself N
To the extent possible, maintain normal daily routines. N Connect
with trusted friends or family members who can help support you. N
Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. N Take frequent rest
breaks—at least every couple of hours. N As much as possible, try
to get some restful sleep. N Get physical exercise. N Give yourself
permission to do things that you find pleasurable (e.g., going
shopping or out to dinner with friends). N Avoid using alcohol and
drugs to cope with the effects of being a caregiver. N Ask for help
from family and friends to reduce pressures or demands during the
crisis response. N Renew your spiritual connections. N Avoid
excessive news coverage of the event. N Do the things that reduce
stress for you (read, listen to music, take deep breaths, meditate,
walk, laugh). N Take time at the end of each day to process or
debrief the events of the day with other caregivers or colleagues. N
Use a buddy system so coworkers can monitor each other’s stress
reactions. N Be kind and gentle on yourself and others, as you have
all shared exposure to a life-changing event. Everyone needs time to
process the impact of these events on their lives. N Take advantage
of employee assistance programs if you need to do so.

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