What To Do After a Crisis

December 6, 2021
Richard Lilley
Two women in hallway talking

You might be aware of what to do when a crisis hits, but what do you need to do afterwards? This post crisis stage is a crucial element of the Crisis Development Model as once we enter Tension Reduction we want to remain here.

Our approach is crucial to ensure that both the individual and staff feel supported as we don’t want the situation to escalate again.

The COPING Model helps support a restorative approach. An important part of a restorative approach is to have restorative conversations which focus on the incident and allow the person to reflect on their actions and consider the impact those actions had on others.

The goal is to uncover what happened but also to re-establish the relationship.


We want everyone to be in control of their emotions after a crisis. Some people will benefit from space, while others will want to vent their frustrations. Heightened states of emotion are physically draining; we can offer food and fluids. Try and make people feel physically comfortable.


Once people are physically and emotionally in control then we can orient ourselves to the basic facts of the situation. What was the precipitating factor/s that resulting in this situation escalating? When did it happen? How did the situation develop? Who was involved?


There will probably be patterns in past behaviour and the events preceding the crisis. Does this happen at certain times of the day or certain days of the week? Are there patterns in precipitating factors? Are the same people/staff involved?


Once we know the possible causes of the behaviour we can look to investigate alternatives to the behaviour. It may be easier for the staff to change their approach to future situations. We must involve the individual in this process of identifying possible solutions.


Negotiate future approaches and expectations of behaviour. What worked well? We can reinforce what is working positively and help the individual to develop and agree to the new strategy. Let the individual guide us to things we can do when they start to feel distressed. What didn’t work well? Are there things that we can avoid saying or doing in the future.


Give back responsibility to the individual while continuing to provide support and encouragement. We should focus on reinforcing positive steps forward and downplaying negative set backs.

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