For most people it can be difficult to survive stress after emergencies. They can be desperate, hysterical, have panic attacks, lock up or be in a state of numbness, – later there is the phenomenon of flashbacks (experiencing the stress moments of the past once and again). In such cases, there is a need for crisis intervention. Psychologists and psychotherapists can coop with it better.
Nevertheless, how to act, if you was a witness of catastrophe, a crisis and you need to comfort the victims? Slovak experts Lutsia Klimachkova and Vlad Frigo give the following tips:
- At first, you need to find the connection with a person. Name yourself, tell that you are here for help. Give a glass of water, offer a blanket or jacket.
- If the situation allows, it is better to take the victim from the emergency scene, so you will neutralize the strong stress factors.
- The safety must be ensured. Assure your companion that he does not threaten anymore, you protect his peace and nothing bad will happen.
- Under the influence of adrenaline, which is produced in stressful situations, a person may not feel his own injuries. Therefore, it is necessary to check whether there are physical injuries.
- We reduce the level of emotions. Let the man weep oneself out. Explain that its reaction is normal and everything will be okay.
- Use breathing techniques. Offer to breathe peacefully together. For example, 5 seconds breath in for 6 seconds breath out. Breathing stabilizes the heartbeat and nervous system.
- Let person feel the space. Offer to put hands on a chair, or take a pillow into hands. Tactility returns a sense of reality.
- Find out what people really need. Offer your help.
- Ask open questions, let people speak. Across discussing, you better understand the needs.
- Be empathetic and take care of the victim. Create a cozy atmosphere of comfort and be attentive to the person.
- Express as simple as possible. Use short sentences and simple words, repeat.
- Stay calm. A person needs to see a confident and stable person in front of him. Pass him your peace.
Recall that the “Crisis Intervention” training, which took place on May 29-31 in Kyiv, was the 7th and latest training under the project “Civil society’s management fundraising and communication in Ukraine”. It was implemented by 5 partner organizations ADRA Slovensko, ADRA Czech Republic, Polish Medical Mission, Hungarian Baptist Aid and ADRA Ukraine with financial support from the Visegrad Fund and the Netherlands Government.
Author: Elizaveta Kuznetsova
Photos from training: https://goo.gl/6ioKtY