Ecosystemic Crisis Intervention and the Multicultural Imperative
Rapidly Changing Events and Environments
The ecological model of crisis intervention has emerged due to accelerating events in dynamically changing cultures.
Some events that have made it necessary for the training of crisis interventionist to shift focus, and shift into "high gear" are listed below.
Nationally, crises such as September 11th , Oklahoma City Bombing, School attacks in Littleton, Colorado; Springfield, Oregon; and Pearl, Mississippi. Most recently, the Red Lake school Atlanta Courthouse and the Wisconsin Church shootings.
International crises that have impacted crisis intervention traingin has included the "War on Terror" and its aftermath, and suicide bombings around the world to name a few.
Then new model being employed in crisi intervention training is Ecosystemic crisis intervention in the wake of a disaster. An ecosystemic crisis is one that spans at least a community and perhaps whole region or nations. It may be human made (September 11th), occur dramatically and leave long lasting environmental effects (Hiroshima) it may occur naturally (Asian/African Tsunami, Hurricanes in Florida) and may have the potential for a tremendous loss of life (the AIDS epidemic).
This method reaches far beyond the relational interactions between and among the various members of the crisis client's family and individuals in the client's workplace or immediate surroundings. This paradigm shift presents a newly emerging ecosystem that encompasses interdependency among and within people at all different levels of the total environment. It consists of five environmental systems:
The Bioecological Model Modified by Bronfenbrenner
Micro system: the setting in which the person in crisis lives. (family, friends, coworkers, peers, school, neighborhood, etc.) o
Direct social interactions/communications with others
Person in crisis is not a passive recipient of experiences, but an active participant o
Also, the settings have a positive or negative effect on the individual (i.e. family's impact)
Mesosystem: serves as the communications channel, pathway, or interactive mechanism between components in the microsystem and the exosystem o
Total communications network that allows individuals and groups to exchange information o
Includes every form of communications from word of mouth to IM's to television news broadcasts
2a: Primary Mesosystem: maintains connections and communications among contexts such as the interactions within workplaces, schools, churches, families and peer groups, and local, social and governmental services. o
Translators to speak to victims for whom the native tongue is not their primary language o
Sign language for a deaf person
2b: Super Mesosystem: interlinks the macrosystem with all interior systems; serves as coordination on a national level, such as the weather forecasting systems, which link to local emergency operations centers. o
Information systems such as the postal service, national radio/TV, internet, GPS o
Federal agencies (FEMA, Bureau of Homeland Security, Bureau of Justice, Red Cross, Emergency Broadcast system)
Exosystem: exposes the crisis client or clients to experiences in a wider social setting than those encountered in the microsystem context. o
Legal and social welfare services, local mass media, governmental agencies and programs that impact the individual and assist individuals, families, or groups who are in crisis
Macrosystem: encompasses the total culture in which people live. Total culture includes behavior patterns, traditions, beliefs, mores, historical artifacts, legal constructs, and other traits and pursuits that are endemic to a group of people that are passed on from generation to generation. Includes national government and all its agencies, national charitable religious, service, professional, and benevolent organizations. o
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