Every individual affected by substance abuse, addiction, and other mental health concerns is at a different place in their healing journey. You may be early in your recovery, contemplating your own need for treatment, or you may be working to sustain lasting behavior change from treatment programs completed years ago. Regardless of where you stand in your own recovery, creating a crisis intervention plan can be crucial for not only preventing future crises but also knowing how to navigate them if or when they arise. Furthermore, creating a crisis intervention plan with your family ensures that family roles and dynamics are considered to establish the most effective and successful plan possible.
At CCM, our team is comprised of collaborative care professionals who are passionate about helping clients develop the healthiest and most sustainable recovery plans, customized to fit the unique needs and recovery goals of each individual and family we serve. Though we meet clients where they are in their journey, we consistently stress the importance of preparing for future crises. Moreover, we can support and guide you in creating an effective crisis intervention plan with your family that will mitigate any potential for worsening consequences that may result from future crises.
A crisis can be defined simply as an incident, turning point, or state of feeling that informs disruption in an individual’s or family’s normal pattern of functioning. Crises can be unexpected and often pose complex challenges for resolution. When compared to a problem or an emergency, a crisis is best recognized by these three basic elements:
- A stressful or overwhelming situation
- Difficulties in coping
- The timing of an intervention
Meanwhile, a crisis is an umbrella term that encompasses a plethora of overwhelming situations and circumstances. For example, crises can be:
- Familial: For instance, situations involving abuse, significant conflict, role confusion, divorce, the loss of a loved one, or other family dysfunction
- Related to mental or physical health: For instance, developing worsening symptoms of a mental health disorder that contribute to increasingly severe dysfunction or the discovery of a serious illness
- Financial: For instance, circumstances such as sudden loss of employment or inflation of essential goods like rent or food
As one can see in these examples, crises most often arise from unexpected circumstances. Yet, these circumstances can inevitably take a toll both on an individual and their loved ones in unique ways. Fortunately, with the help of a crisis intervention plan, the potential for worsening or permanent harm caused by a crisis can be minimized, and families can feel more prepared to navigate crises if or when they occur.
What Is a Crisis Intervention Plan?
According to a publication titled Crisis Intervention by authors Wang and Gupta, “Crisis intervention is a short-term management technique designed to reduce potential permanent damage to an individual affected by a crisis.” Thus, a crisis intervention plan provides a step-by-step framework that individuals and families can use when family members find themselves amidst a crisis. While every family hopes that they will never need to use this plan, it is essential to have it in case of emergency. To reiterate, crises are never planned, and a crisis intervention plan can ensure the best possible outcome when a crisis occurs.
Some key elements of a crisis intervention plan include:
- Risk analysis
- Emergency contacts/source of support (including treatment professionals, local hospitals, and family and friends who can support amidst a crisis)
- Locations and contact information of local treatment facilities (such as CCM)
- Response procedures (such as steps for who to reach out to first)
The Value of Family Involvement When Curating a Crisis Intervention Plan
Although a crisis intervention plan is useful whether it is created individually or with others, there is profound value in creating a crisis intervention plan with family. First and foremost, involving the family in the creation of a crisis intervention plan can ensure that each family member maintains specific family roles to prevent role conflict or confusion. By maintaining healthy family roles, each family member can better consider the emotional needs of one another and respond more effectively.
Another benefit of family involvement when curating a crisis intervention plan is that it enables each family member to engage in their own risk analysis if their loved one endures a personal crisis. This encourages each person to understand their own triggers for stress and potential crisis, identify valuable coping mechanisms, and recognize when the circumstances of a crisis exceed these mechanisms and other personal resources. In other words, it ensures that each family member is willing to ask for help when they need it most.
Lastly, family involvement in crisis intervention plans can also prevent harmful consequences of crises on the family unit. As the aforementioned article mentions, “If left unmanaged, a person with a severe crisis can undergo a significant amount of psychological stress, which carries links to major depressive disorder and other mental health conditions.” If these harms begin to affect a family member, loved ones can respond to these harms with confidence as crisis intervention plans provide a step-by-step framework for connecting their family member with the right intervention services.
Case Management and Crisis Intervention at CCM
At CCM, we offer holistic behavioral health solutions to individuals and families across the entire continuum of care. We are knowledgeable about each stage of the treatment and recovery process, which allows us to help clients prepare for the different challenges and obstacles that they will likely endure on the road to lasting wellness. Moreover, equipping families with crisis intervention plans not only encourages family members to recognize the roles they can play in shaping their loved ones’ recoveries from crises but also ensures that there is a reliable framework to follow when family members are at their most vulnerable. Case management and crisis intervention services are always available, and CCM is here to help.
A crisis is an unexpected, overwhelming event that informs disruptions in an individual or family’s normal patterns of functioning. Because crises are unexpected, it is essential to have a crisis intervention plan that can be utilized for effectively responding to crises if or when they occur. Meanwhile, involving your family as you create a crisis intervention plan can be greatly beneficial as it encourages family members to maintain their roles amidst crises as well as work to actively prevent crises before they surface. At CCM, we are passionate about helping individuals and families establish and sustain wellness, especially when wellness is challenged by crises. We offer a plethora of services to support and guide you in healing. Call (855) 467-3226.