Monday, February 8, 2010

Managing crisis situations

When I returned to school and began a career change from public relations to education, I found a challenging, life-changing job at the Interval Brotherhood Home - a substance abuse rehab center in downtown Akron, Ohio.

My position as a residential supervisor provided many opportunities to interact with a challenging clientele: IBH residents often find their way to the facility either before or after sentences in correctional facilities, mental health facilities, or stints on the tough streets of Akron.

One evening when I was working by myself, a very rare event, a client turned irrational and violent. I soon found myself managing the situation through interactions with center management, medical professionals, community mental health agencies and law enforcement - all while keeping a house of 30 men safe and calm.

Thankfully the incident was resolved without injury to any of the IBH residents including the struggling client, and I came away from the situation with a deepened appreciation for those on the front lines of crisis situations.

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