EDCO 291: Crisis Intervention: Assessment, De-escalation & Debriefing

Anthony Stevens, MS, LCMHC 107 Fisher Pond Rd. St. Albans, VT 05478 802-524-6554 (office) 802-524-6555 X 320 (voicemail) 802-899-5865 (home) Location: TBD

Date: July 30th & 31st, 2009

Course Description This course is designed to provide human service workers, educators, and school administrators with information regarding crisis response. Participants will learn how to assess the overall crisis situation as well as specific intervention and de-escalation techniques to be used in the moment. Participants will also be familiarized with crisis debriefing and stress management techniques to assist the post-crisis healing process and to reduce vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and helping the helper. Students will also learn about referral options within Vermont’s mental health care system. Objectives - To gain familiarity and comfort with assessing crisis situations - To learn and practice a range of skills to assist in the assessment of the crisis and to help de-escalate the crisis - Learn about intervention and referral options available within the mental health care system in Vermont as well as how to access them - Understand some differences in assessing and intervening in crises for adults vs. children - Learn about intervention and stress management techniques to be utilized post-crisis

Course Requirements Attendance: Attendance at both days of class is required. Active participation within class and discussions is a vital component of the course and will be factored into the final grade. Readings: All readings must be completed prior to the final day of class, as they will guide the topics and discussions in that final day. Reflection Questions: Students will write brief, thoughtful answers to the following questions to turn in on the final day of class. Students may choose to share their responses with the class but are not required to. Written answers will be passed in to instructor for review and written feedback. 1. What have been some of your experiences in dealing with other people that were in crisis? What did you find most difficult? What part, if any, did you feel comfortable with? 2. Thinking back to a crisis that you’ve faced in your own life, what helped you to get through it? Did anyone do anything that was especially helpful or hurtful?

Final Paper: All students taking the course for credit must complete the final assignment, to be turned in no later than 3 weeks after the end of class. Those not taking the course for credit are strongly encouraged to complete this assignment so that they may incorporate the knowledge they have gained. All papers will be returned to students with comments and the final grade for the course attached. Students will choose one of three case studies presented and write a 5-page paper about how they would assess the crisis presented with how they would work towards resolving it. - mental health professional and client in crisis - teacher with a student in crisis - school administrator with a faculty member in crisis. Grading & Evaluation Final grade for the course will be determined as follows: Class attendance & Active participation 50% Final Paper 40% Reflection Questions 10% I will not accept the final paper after the due date except under unusual circumstances. Such circumstances must be communicated to me prior to the due date for review. Papers postmarked after the due date will be considered late and will reduce the grade received.

Thursday 7/30/09

(order & content may vary slightly)

Introductions, why taking course, what you hope to get out of it Crisis theory & models of understanding Importance of assessment Practicing different assessment skills Children, Schools & Crisis Suicide & Homicide assessment Vermont’s mental health system of care Friday 7/31/09 Reflection questions & discussion Discussion of readings Consultation Field Trip  Crisis debriefing strategies Guest presentation re: Responding to trauma in the community Stress Management (critical incident & general) Vicarious Trauma Diversity/Multicultural Focus Students in the Counseling Program are expected to develop awareness, knowledge, and skills for working with diverse clientele. In this class, focus on diversity issues will occur during multiple class sessions and be assessed in the writing assignments.

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