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Responding to Students in Crisis

Responding to Students in Crisis

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Responding to Students in Crisis

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  1. Responding to Students in Crisis A Guide for Student Affairs Staff February 7, 2005

  2. What Is a Mental Health Crisis? • Usual coping skills no longer work • Reactions escalate

  3. Categories of Crisis • Accidental or situational crises • Developmental or normative crises • Shock situations • Exhaustion situations

  4. What Causes Crises? • Presence of stress • Balancing factors: • Realistic perception of the situation • Support • Coping skills • Crisis resolution or escalation

  5. Crisis Situations Requiring Immediate Action • Indications of suicidality • Disruptive or threatening behavior • Extreme anxiety • Bizarre behavior

  6. Keep in MindFIRST THINGS FIRST • Learning comes in many forms • Importance of context • Impact beyond the office • Need interest, not expertise

  7. Ground Rules about Crises…Or what you already know how to do! • Think actively and anticipate possibilities. • Remember, there are a range of possible responses. • Crises are by definition complex.

  8. Ground Rules about Crises…more about what you already know how to do • Consult, consult, consult! • Give yourself permission to not know what to do. • Know your style and your limits.

  9. Students in Early Stages of CrisisPossible Signs Include: • Decline in academic performance • Decline in social involvement • Altered routines • Difficulty managing thoughts or feelings • Use of drugs/alcohol • Inability to ask for or use available help effectively

  10. Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors in Height of Crisis • Thoughts: • Confused • Impaired concentration • Inability to problem-solve logically • Feelings: • Extreme anxiety • Anger/rage • Guilt or shame • Helplessness or hopelessness

  11. Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors in Height of Crisis • Behaviors: • Shut down • Act impulsively or irrationally • Unable to identify personal resources • Rejecting of help

  12. Goals of Crisis InterventionWhat you and the student might do: • Thoughts: • Initiate problem-solving • Feelings: • Provide opportunity for ventilation • Behaviors: • Help student take action

  13. Goals of Crisis InterventionHow YOU can help: • Be available • Avoid judging or labeling • Listen!

  14. Goals of Crisis InterventionMore on how YOU can help: • Ask the student what they need from you. • Follow the student’s lead. • Be as calm and honest as possible. • Know campus resources and programs.

  15. Cultural Considerations • Safety net or sinkhole • Varying manifestations of crisis • Impact on possible solutions/resources

  16. Cultural Considerations • Safety net or sinkhole • Varying manifestations of crisis • Impact on possible solutions/resources

  17. Making a Referral • Be direct • Encourage • Provide information • Clarify expectations • Suggest, don’t insist

  18. Follow-Up • Crucial part of the process • Check in as appropriate

  19. Each of You Has Rights • The student has the right to: • Appropriate attention, respect, and support • Information, guidance, and concern within the limits of your role • You have the right to: • Civility and respect • Set limits • Get support and help

  20. Have Consideration for Yourself, Too • Stay within your comfort zone • Maintain boundaries • Seek support

  21. In Closing • Questions/comments • Feedback forms • Handouts