Every person’s response to crisis can vary and be influenced by many factors. The effect it has on the person can be just as varied, as well. One thing to understand first is that crisis in terms of mental health is not the actual event or trauma but the reaction a person has to it. These reactions can be physical, mental, emotional, and even behavioral. Many times a person will not be able to think clearly, even losing the ability to function at all.
The first thing to do is to help the individual attempt to reach a state of relative calm so you can assess what type of event is occurring. Is this occurring because of death, serious injury, psychological or physical threat, events faced by emergency staff, natural disaster, or some sort of violence which has occurred against the person? From there, create a plan of action to help the person find the proper support or aid needed to help with the event. Having someone knowledgeable in crisis intervention can mean the difference between the crises escalating or beginning to subside. As Clergy we can assist the individual, as simply and practically as possible, reach help so they can achieve as positive an outcome as possible. And, finally, follow up with the individual if at all possible to make sure that they have been able to reach a successful resolution of the situation or if they perhaps need further assistance in finding the right resources. (Carole Wade 479-485)