Crisis intervention strategies

Strategies for Case Managers

A crisis can refer to any situation in which the client perceives the inability to effectively problem-solve and/or cope. Not all crises involve danger, but if the patient is in danger the first priority is their safety. After safety is established listen to the client to assess his or her state of need. When a person in crisis tells their story, they can begin to draw on their cognitive skills, instead of emotional skills, which can help return them to a calmer, less reactive mental space. Always allow them to express their full emotions without the fear of being judged.

If at any time the patient is thought to be at risk for suicide they should be directly asked if they have a plan. If there is any doubt about their safety they should be admitted. If safety is not an issue, help them to develop good support systems or refer them to a support group, counselor, therapist or psychiatrist as appropriate. Items such as weapons or large amounts of medications should be removed from the patients access. Frequent follow up assessments should be completed to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions.