Introduction to Crisis Intervention and the Role of Communication OFFICE OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS Disclaimer The content of this training should not be relied upon for diagnosis or treatment of a mental health condition. Resources listed in this document do not constitute an endorsement, nor are these
resources exhaustive. Nothing is implied by inclusion or when a resource is not referenced. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS Training Goals Define Crisis Intervention. Discuss the importance of Communication Skills in Crisis Management Dos and Donts in Crisis Intervention / Communications
LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 3 Crisis Intervention LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS4 Definition of Crisis Intervention (Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders) Crisis intervention refers to the methods used to offer immediate, short-term help to individuals who
experience an event that produces emotional, mental, physical and/or behavioral distress or problems. A crisis can refer to any situation in which the individual perceives a sudden loss of his or her ability to use effective problem-solving and coping skills (i.e., natural disasters, criminal victimization, medical illness, mental illness, thoughts of suicide or homicide and loss or drastic changes in relationships such as death of a loved one or divorce). LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 5
Description Individuals are more open to receiving help during crises. A person may have experienced the crisis within the last 24 hours or within a few weeks before seeking help. Crisis intervention is conducted in a supportive manner. The length of time for crisis intervention may range from one session to several weeks, with the average time being four weeks. (Crisis interventions for children may be provided for 7 days with built in options for additional timegenerally not more than 14 days total). Crisis intervention is not sufficient for individuals with longstanding problems. Session length may range from 20 minutes to two or more hours. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS
6 Description Crisis intervention is appropriate for children, adolescents, and adults. It can take place in a range of settings, such as hospital emergency rooms, crisis centers, counseling centers, mental health clinics, schools, correctional facilities, and other social service agencies. It may also take place in the familys home setting and families should be afforded this option if they so desire. Local and national telephone hotlines are available to address
crises related to suicide, domestic violence, sexual assault, and other concerns. They are usually available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 7 Crisis Communications Communication-PMAB 4th ed. 05/27/07 LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS8
Why are communication skills important? Communications skills are the most powerful tools employees have for preventing aggressive behavior. What staff communicate and the way they communicate will help shape an environment of mutual respect and cooperation. Effective communication reduces the need for physical management of aggression and creates a safer environment for the person served and staff alike. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS
9 Communication Messages How much of a message is conveyed in each way? Words 10% Tone 20% Body Language 70% LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 10
Words 10% Communication is more than just saying words. Studies show that only about 10% of the message we get from people comes from the words they use. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 11 Tone 20% Almost 20% of the message comes from the
way people say things. Tone of voice Volume Rate of speech Can change the meanings of words we say LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 12 Body Language 70% Body language consists of: Facial Expressions (color, tension)
Eyes (red, watery, glassy) Neck and Shoulders (raised, relaxed, tense) Hands and Arms (crossed, fists clenched, relaxed, wringing, fidgeting, tapping) Feet (pacing, planted, shifting, tapping) LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 13 Body Language 70% As powerful and as important as the words we use and how we say them are, the greatest part of our message
comes from what we express with our body. We literally believe more of what we see than what we hear. For people with acute mental illness or profound mental retardation, body language may be practically the only part of your message received. With people who have limited ability to communicate, you must make a clear, non-threatening statement with your body that you are there to help. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 14
Summary For messages to be clear, the meaning of the words must match the tone of voice and body language. The right words said without sincerity can make things worse. The right words said with genuine concern for another person are your most powerful tools for preventing aggressive behavior. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 15
Common Elements of Crisis A person in crisis is not thinking clearly S/he is focused only on feelings Only after these feelings have lost some of their intensity can a person become calm and think of positive ways of dealing with the situation LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 16 3 ways to communicate that are
beneficial when someone is in crisis 1) Provide reassurance and comfort 2) Avoid trying to fix the persons problem 3) Develop trust by modeling trustworthy behavior LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 17 Reassure and Comfort 1) Reassure and Comfort Show a willingness to listen
Encourage the person to talk about their feelings which takes the intensity out of the feelings and gets the person past the sense of isolation often felt during crisis. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 18 Avoid Trying to Fix the Problem 2) Avoid Trying to Fix the Persons Problem This takes power away from the person Give power and control by helping the person
consider all the options. Give the person knowledge and skills to select an option that meets their needs which fosters independence. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 19 Develop Trust 3) Develop trust by modeling trustworthy behavior. Be calm, aware and respectful
Listen to the other person Make supportive instead of critical statements Accept the persons feeling as valid for him/her whether or not you agree with them LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 20 Ways of communicating that are NOT beneficial when someone is in crisis 1) Crowding (May increase aggressive behavior Establish a safe distance
2) Talking Down (Dont patronize) Show that the persons feelings are important and taken seriously 3) Arguing (Creates emotional distance) Listen to all points of view and clarify the differences LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 21
Ways of communicating that are NOT beneficial when someone is in crisis 4) Bribing (Dont reward aggression) Be consistent and fair 5) Threatening (Implies aggression is acceptable and is abusive) Describe expectations and consequences of the persons behavior in a way that gives the person a choice to do the right thing LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS
22 References Read more: http://www.minddisorders.com/Br-Del/Crisis-i ntervention.html#ixzz1YmotKgIx LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 23
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