A crisis can happen at any time, to anyone. There are life-threatening situations, natural disasters (such as the forest fires in Fort McMurray in 2015), criminal acts, medical and mental illness, thoughts of suicide or homicide, and grief and loss. The escalation of a crisis can create an unsafe situation for the people we serve and our staff members. 

To ensure everyone’s safety, WJS offers a 2-day nonviolent crisis intervention training to its front-line staff to ensure both new and seasoned workers hone this important skill.  

Crisis intervention training provides our staff members the skills to calm a hostile or anxious client. It prevents the escalation of a crisis even in the most challenging situations.  

It also reduces the risk of injury, improves communication between staff members, boosts staff confidence, alleviates the stress and anxiety that comes with dealing with crises, and helps people feel safe at work. 

Being equipped to address tension or the early stages of crisis is an asset to everyone working in human services. Effective crisis intervention can reduce the intensity of an individual’s emotional, mental, physical and behavioral reactions to a situation. It also helps individuals return to their level of functioning before the crisis. 

The training is tailored to site and team needs. It uses role play, interventions, and drills that empower front line workers to keep people safe, reduce injury, and support the framework of human rights and safety of the individuals we serve.  

Our programs are diverse, so the training aims to support our clients’ dignity, while understanding that not every conflict needs to be won.  

The training reviews styles of para-verbal communication and body language. Understanding the body’s physical reaction during a crisis, perceived threat or anxiety benefits both staff teams and clients.  

There is no one solution to risky or anxiety driven behaviours, but skill, practice and the support of a well-trained staff team supports safety for everyone.  

Laura Demeester, LPS Program Supervisor.  

Laura and her colleague Marie Stad recently completed a crisis intervention training program and now offer this training to the staff of WJS Canada.