May 26, 2014
Jori Reijonen, Ph.D.
Future Trend of Crisis Intervention
A crisis can be defined as a disruption or breakdown in a person’s normal or usual pattern of functioning. The crisis cannot be solved by their normal problem-solving resources or skills (http://www.dshs.wa.gov/manuals/socialservices/sections/CrisisInter.shtml, 2013). The event can be a dramatic or emotional upheaval in their life. Human services workers must realize what can be a crisis for their clients and how to intervene. One huge trend taking place is the use of technology to help people through crisis. Trends in treating these clients change constantly, and the workers must be prepared to adjust to those changes. The future of human services is a constantly changing field. This will discuss the overview of using technology in crisis intervention, how the use of technology with impact the practice, challenges which will need to be met and suggestions to how the worker needs to be proactive
Overview of Trend Over the past several years, internet use has increased and is available everywhere. Most homes have personal computers, along with the majority of citizens having smart phones, tablets, gaming systems which connect to the internet. Wireless internet access is everywhere which enables anyone with a device the ability to access the internet. Future trends for the human service worker is involving the use of online virtual reality therapy programs. There are also advances with using video games or virtual reality and the use of smart phones can all help with mental health crisis. Online therapy has been available in discussion board formats for over fifteen years already, but with the development of programs such as YouTube, Skype, and Facebook, this opens up more avenues of communication between the worker and clients. In the past, the internet connections were not very strong, or limited (Barak & Grohol, 2011). Now and in the future, broadband high speed is widely available and unlimited in most areas. Along with providing a text based communication between client and worker, web cams enable more communication between the two. Another aspect of technology in use is the ability to share client information and health history among providers. This can help with clients who see multiple physicians and can link all their health care and prescriptions in one place (Kincaid, 2004). Hospitals are already using this technology more and more to help enable better medical care for patients. This information is also being linked to pharmacies and also available for patients to access their own medical history securely online. For those who are homebound or in which traveling to an office is difficult, being able to obtain their mental health care through an electronic source can be a bonus. Without this electronic form growth, these patients would go without their social services.
Trend Impacts Practice of Crisis Intervention
The use of technology in crisis intervention has and will continue to have a great impact on clients. Clients who have no transportation, are disabled or otherwise have difficulties in traveling to an office for counseling, being able to communicate through the computers is a huge advantage for those clients. Internet use and computers are becoming ubiquitous and in use in every aspect of our lives. The impact the computer use can have is to bring more access to clients who otherwise would not be able to seek help. Clients who are experiencing a crisis situation can have the ability to contact their social worker to help them through the moment. The worker can have more access with more clients through an internet access without having to compromise services to others (Kincaid, 2004).
For a client in a crisis situation, the ability to call out for help and be able to talk with their social services worker is