What is crisis intervention?

The perception or experience of an incident or circumstance as an unacceptable hardship that transcends the person's current resources and coping skills is defined as a crisis. Crisis intervention is a rapid and short-term emergency reaction to mental, emotional, physical, and behavioural distress. Crisis intervention is the provision of immediate and temporary treatment to a person to stop a downward spiral of maladaptive behaviour and return them to their pre-crisis level of functioning.

Types of crisis interventions

Crisis intervention can apply to various therapeutic treatments used in different crucial situations that affect individuals or groups of people. The unifying denominator among these interventions is their short duration and concentration on enhancing the stability of a person (or group of people) experiencing an acute stress reaction rather than treating long-term mental problems. Common examples of crisis intervention include:

  • Suicide prevention hotline s: Individuals in crisis or on the verge of suicide might call a crisis or suicide hotline for quick assistance. Because they are usually anonymous, people in distress may feel less ashamed than they would in a face-to-face situation. Please visit the resources  tab featured on this website for local emergency numbers to contact.
  • Hospital-based crisis intervention: The care of persons with psychiatric emergencies that frequently arise during a crisis is called hospital-based crisis intervention. This form of crisis intervention usually aims to bring some type of severe behaviour under control. Suicidal, homicidal, or severely violent individuals and those suffering from extreme adverse drug responses, psychotic episodes or manic episodes are considered significant mental emergencies by professionals. Please visit the ER at your nearest hospital if you or a family present with any emergency as described above.

People who experience the following should make an urgent appointment with a health  care professional such as Jénine and/or Nicole:

  • Thoughts of self-harm
  • Thoughts of harming others
  • Recent trauma, for example, an assault
  • Hearing or seeing things that other people do not hear or see

How is crisis intervention implemented?

There are various strategies and therapeutic approaches that trained professionals can implement in the short term to cope with a crisis, and they include:

  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Grounding with the five senses
  • Breathing exercises

For immediate and long-term assistance, visiting a health care professional such as a psychologist or a psychiatrist is essential.

1How long does crisis intervention typically take place?
Crisis intervention can last anything from one session to several weeks, with four weeks being the norm.
2What is the difference between crisis intervention and crisis management?
The incident is the focus of crisis management. Crisis intervention is a type of emergency psychological care aimed at helping people regain control of their bio-psychosocial functioning and reduce the risk of long-term psychological harm.