Crisis Intervention and Impact on Human Health

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Nowadays, the term of crisis intervention became widespread in the medical theory as well as in the media which tries to explain to the public the distinction between a problem and a crisis and to give advice on how to cope with both of them. The specifically developed strategies are in place to help people suffering from crisis to turn back to the normal life. These strategies are based on the crisis characteristic features which explain its nature and impact on people health.

The Definition and Characteristic Features of Crisis

The term crisis can be defined as the mental trauma resulting in the person’s inability to act consciously and with perception of the surrounding reality. The consequences of crisis on the person’s mental health threaten their ability to participate in usual activities and even their life. Three basic elements of a crisis are: a stressful situation, difficulty in coping, and the timing of intervention (Crisis intervention, 2012, par. 5).

Such symptoms as deep depression, fear, emotional and physical weakness, loss of interest in activity, deviant behavior, and others are typical for crisis. James & Gilliland (2013) characterize crisis by the following features: “presence of both danger and opportunity, seeds of growth and change, the necessity of Choice, universality and idiosyncrasy, resiliency, no panaceas or quick fixes, perception, complicated symptomology” (p.10-11).

The Crisis Intervention Work

Crisis occurs immediately but its acute consequences can be observed for months. No doubt, a person needs help of others in order to cope with it. Nowadays, there are a number of agencies aimed at helping people to turn back to the normal way of life. However, the role of volunteers should be also emphasized. The crisis and the degree of its impact are essentially independent from the situations that result in the mental trauma, the character of person, or education level (Poal, 1990). There are certain techniques and strategies which can be applied to help individuals to overcome crisis. Poal (1990) states that “what actually occurs depends on the interplay of internal and external forces during the crisis, the actions of the subject and the intervention of others” (p.126). For this reason, the work of crisis intervention specialists is so important. In general, this work boils down to the emotional support to the victims. The specialists should try to contact the victim, to help him to speak his mind and find a way out together. Usually a person suffering from crisis not only needs help of others but also desires their participation and empathy. The effective crisis workers should have life experience making them emotionally mature and stable personalities (James & Gilliland, 2013). Besides, they should possess the qualities of assertiveness, flexibility and quick mental reflection (James & Gilliland, 2013).


In order to sum up all above mentioned, it should be said that crisis is hard to cope with on your own, and the intervention of others, their emotional support and help are vital for the victims. However, in order to be an effective crisis worker, you should not only know the strategies of crisis intervention but also be mature and stable personality being able to make a real contribution to the crisis overcome. As a whole, the crisis intervention represents an interesting and socially urgent field of research.


Crisis intervention.(2012).In Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. Web.

James, R. K., & Gilliland, B. E. (2013). Crisis Intervention Strategies. Belmont, USA: Brooks/ Cole.

Poal, P. (1990). Introduction to the theory and practice of crisis intervention. South Melbourne, Australia: Thomson Learning.

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