Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Crisis Plan...Do you Have One?

As parents, we feel many of the things about our child's mental illness are out of our control.  We are scared of the "worse case" stories about mental illness.  We struggle with the reality of our day-to-day life and wonder about the future.  We learn about the high rate of suicide attempts or suixide and feel over/whelmed with the fear we cannot protect our child from these dangers.  But, by making an effective crisis plan, we can have the tools we need to help our children in times of crisis.  Crisis happens in everyone's life, and no crisis plan ever written can keep a crisis from happening.  An important tool to help us deal with what may come is clear, well thought out crisis plan.
1)  Effective crisis plans anticipate crisis based on knowledge about the past.  The best predictor of future behavcior is past behavior.
2)  Great crisis plans assume the "worst case" scenario and plan accordingly.
3)  Effectivce plans incorporate individual and family outcomes as benchmarks or measures of when the crisis is over.
4)  Always build plans that "triage" for different levels of intensity, and severity of crisis events.
5)  Build a crisis plan for 24-hr response.  Crisis seldom occurs when it is convenient.

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