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2.7a: Crisis Empowerment Drill

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In this activity, you will complete a crucial aspect of our self-care journey – creating your personal crisis Empowerment plan. This crisis plan is intended to empower you, ensuring that you have a clear path to follow during times of mental health challenges. In times of heightened stress or emotional turmoil, having a personalized roadmap can make a significant difference. By establishing key contacts for support and crafting a step-by-step action plan, you’ll be better able to handle challenging moments and reach out for help when needed.

Remember the power of your choice in every situation. You have the capacity to respond in ways that reflect your highest values and aspirations.

Crisis Empowerment Drill: 

Follow the steps below to create and practice your Personal Crisis Empowerment drill:

  1. Identify Triggers and Warning Signs:
    • Take a moment to think about situations or feelings that trigger stress, anxiety, or other negative emotions for you.
      • Examples of situations include road rage or standing in long line.
      • Examples of events with individuals include a co-parent being inactive, a coworker spreading rumors, or you engaging in harmful thoughts.
    • Reflect on warning signs you’ve learned in previous lessons and how these triggers might escalate to a crisis.
      • Examples of warning signs include raising your voice, rapid heartbeat, a feeling of rage or anger, profanity, thoughts of hurting someone, or thoughts of hurting yourself
  2. Identifying Coping Strategies:
    • Make a list of healthy coping skills and self-care practices that have worked for you in the past.
    • Consider which of these strategies would be most effective during a crisis to help you manage your emotions.
  3. Key Contacts for Support:
    • Create a list of people you can reach out to in an emergency for support, including mental health professionals, friends, and family.
    • Look up national, state, and local crisis and mental health hotline services that you can reach out to in an emergency. Include in your list these crisis hotlines that you can contact during challenging times.
  4. Step-by-Step Action Plan:
    • Brainstorm and select at least 2 different situations where you could be triggered into a mental health crisis. 
      • These situations can vary by environment (for example, uncontrollable anger and frustration at work vs. uncontrollable anger and frustration at home), 
      • Or they can vary by type of crisis (anxiety attack vs uncontrollable anger).
    • Create an empowerment drill. Write a plan with steps to bring yourself from crisis to calm. Consider the following when creating your drill:
      • Who would you reach out to for support? 
      • How might you need to respond to each situation differently?
      • How can you ensure your safety and the safety of others?
  5. Practice the Drill:
    • Practice each empowerment drill several times.
    • Videotape yourself going through both drills. Explain the crisis scenario at the beginning of each drill. 
    • Share your Empowerment Drill video with your Mental Health Empowerment Expert, Kiisha Siebert.

Remember, this plan is personalized to your needs and experiences. Keep your crisis plan in a place where you can easily access it when needed, and don’t hesitate to update it as you learn more about what works best for you.

Sample Plan:

You may use the following sample plan as a starting point: 

  • Situation: Feeling overwhelmed and inadequate at work with negative self-talk.
    1. Stop, Pause, and Breathe.
    2. Choose empowerment with self-awareness.
    3. Identify the trigger and warning signs (elevated heart rate, yelling, feelings of low self-esteem, not being good enough, or being a failure, hopelessness.) 
    4. Go to a quiet, safe place (like a bathroom).
    5. Connect with God through prayer.
    6. Listen to my body (For example: Do I need to release pent-up energy? Do I feel unmotivated and in need of something uplifting? Do I need to talk to someone to get out of my head?)
    7. Give my body what it needs (ex: Listen to uplifting music, meditate, pray, go for a mindful walk, do 100 jumping jacks, mindfully hydrate, journal self-compassion affirmations, and call a supportive friend or call 911.)
    8. Rise in a state of empowerment and calm. (Confident, centered, and safe.)