Navigating Crises: A Guide to Effective Crisis Management

By: Sarah Nasreddine


Crises can strike anyone, and they often feel overwhelming, pushing us beyond our usual coping abilities. However, with the right knowledge and support, it’s possible to navigate these challenging times and emerge stronger. In this article, we will explore effective crisis management techniques based on the Task Model of Crisis Assessment and Intervention, as discussed by experts Jackson-Cherry and Erford in 2018.

Understanding Crises:

A crisis is an event or situation that we perceive as an intolerable difficulty, surpassing our current resources and coping mechanisms. It comprises three key elements: a triggering event, subjective distress, and diminished functioning when our usual coping strategies fail to alleviate the distress.

Assessment: Gaining Clarity:

Assessment is a crucial step in crisis management. It helps us gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the crisis at hand. During assessment, prioritize safety and evaluate physical and mental health, substance use, social circumstances, personal history, and available support systems. This process allows you to identify the specific problems you’re facing and explore your coping skills, resources, and support networks.

Intervention: Empowering Solutions:

With a clearer understanding of the crisis, it’s time to implement an intervention plan. The goal is to normalize your response to the crisis, provide education, explore available options, develop personalized plans, and make appropriate referrals.

Normalization and Education:

Understand that experiencing a crisis is a natural response. It’s essential to learn about common reactions and emotions during such times. Education empowers you to recognize that you are not alone and that help is available. By normalizing your experience, you can reduce anxiety and gain a sense of control.

Exploring Safe and Reliable Resources:

To effectively manage a crisis, it’s crucial to explore available resources. Seek assistance from primary care or emergency departments, mental health professionals, crisis management specialists, faith-based organizations, or community outreach programs. These resources can provide the support and guidance you need.

Developing a Plan and Obtaining Commitment:

Based on your assessment and available resources, develop a plan tailored to your specific situation. Set achievable goals and identify the steps needed to overcome the crisis. Obtain commitment to follow through with the plan and engage with the suggested resources. Remember, you have the strength to overcome this challenge.

Preparing Documentation, Follow-up, and Referrals:

As you progress through your crisis management journey, ensure proper documentation of your experiences, including any referrals or recommendations received. Follow up with the suggested support systems and referrals, staying engaged in the recovery process.

Supporting Resources:

Throughout your crisis, it’s essential to surround yourself with supportive resources. Reach out to hotlines such as the Disaster Distress Hotline, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, or utilize the Crisis Text Line for immediate assistance. Additionally, explore online peer support communities that can provide valuable guidance and encouragement.


Facing a crisis can be a daunting experience, but armed with knowledge and support, you can navigate the challenges and find strength within yourself. Remember to assess your situation, access appropriate resources, and implement a personalized plan. Embrace the support available and reach out to professionals or support helplines whenever needed. You have the resilience to overcome this crisis and emerge stronger on the other side.

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