Crisis Interventions - How to Help

We see and feel for people whose lives have been disrupted by the unexpected, emergencies, sickness, death, disaster, or other overwhelming circumstances. We might want to help but aren't sure how. What can we do to intervene?

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How to Help People in a Crisis

The Goal: Help people cope with both the good and bad of life in a Christ-like manner.

The Challenge: Do not wait until an issue or problem becomes a crisis to step in and help. Be there for people before they take extreme measures to cope or before they reach extreme emotions in their reactions.

The Key: Provide preventative training. Prepare people for the life stages ahead of them. Teach them how to win the spiritual battles they are bound to face. Watch for signs that people are headed for trouble and provide assistance early on in the process.

The Reality: Despite your best efforts to help prevent issues and problems from getting out of hand, you will still be faced with people in crisis. Unfortunately, you will not always catch the warning signs. And, not all crises are predictable. You cannot prepare people for every possible scenario in life. And, you will not always be able to discern the deficits in people's hearts until they are faced with hardship. Troubles have a way of bringing out what is inside of a person.

When a person is in crisis, here is what you can do to help:

Accept their feelings.

Avoid judgmentalism.

Administer lots of grace.

Attempt to help them gain a realistic view of the situation.

Assess available resources.

Acknowledge what can and can't be changed and develop a realistic plan to change what can be changed.

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In addition to the content on this page, the People Helping Ministry Manual provides some brief thoughts about each of the above points and also helps you develop a starting point for preventing and preparing people for crisis.