How We Got Here – Now What?
Families all over this world, at their basic core, want the same things in life. They want to live a free life, enjoy their family and community, and have a meaningful purpose they believe in.
Crisis happens to all people all over the world. That is part of life. A person gets sick, a job lost, someone dies, relationships break and trauma happens. No one wants to be stuck in the darkness of that problems. People want to get through something and live their life again.
Issues tend to be complex and deeply connected on many levels. From one job loss or sick child, can spur fall out in so many areas of life. Priorities set and actions taken. Agreement of what or how does not always happen. Sometimes its just too complicated to understand and navigate. Emotions can jump in making things worse. Help might be there. Isolation and escalation can occur. There might be no words to understand what is happening, and our brains go into overdrive to secure the situation. This can drive the situation further down the road into a place it is very hard to recover from.
We have worked with survivors all over the world that have been confronted with a wide variety of crises and traumas.
When a family is stuck, they do what any one in trouble does, reach out. A person who is in crisis or traumatized reach out in ways people might not understand. Folks that are trained in Trauma can spot Red Flags and help them find resources.
If there is no one there to understand, things can and will get worse. Then legal lines and safety lines are crossed since no intervention for prevention was available. When we get to the point of law enforcement, emergency rooms or other state interventions, a system of safety sets in. Standards are followed and protocols are set in place. This is not about what is best for the crisis and recovery. This is about the present safe practices and ensuring interventions are successful.
There is a gap between the crisis and the escalation. Positive intervention could have come into play long before things crashed and burned. The people close to the family did not see the red flags. The common places in the community did not spot a family in trouble. Their pleas for help were not seen and cries not answered. Schools did not take note. Teachers continued by. Doctors failed to recognize the signs. Neighbors, coaches, peers and friends did not catch on. Like a ghost they walked on by alone and failing.
During this gap can be like walking through a shadowlands where no one understands and they feel so alone. This family slipped away from being able to move through the crisis and build life up again. Slowly, or sometimes quickly, they spiral out of control, lost or in worse condition.
No one can continue like this, so something has to give. If there is not intervention, then things escalate. Abuse gets worse. Drugs or other substances are taken. Gangs step in to provide what is missed. If nothing else works, suicide is the answer to make it all just stop.
The answer is identification and providing interventions.
Sadly, intervention from emergency services of an escalated family member is not the best way to help. They are set up for emergency intervention. That is not dealing with the complex-convoluted, core crisis that started the house of cards to crash. Their focus in on the CRASH. To fully recover and prevent future crashes, the family needs to recover from the core issue and all the events since the trauma. First responders and the government systems are not equipped or trained to focus on individual recovery from all the concerns facing the family, except the immediate CRASH.
They follow a standard practice for people that fit into the specific CRASH they encountered. They are not looking for the origin, the escalation and then all the factors that led to the CRASH. They are not designed to get to the causation.
If you were abused and you started to drink, and that landed you before a judge you could be ordered to detox for alcohol. No one might know about or understand that you endured 6 years of sexual abuse by your uncle and your parents were mad at you for acting out. You could not deal with the trauma, the guilt and the hardship from your family, so you turned to drugs and your friends to deaden the pain. The plan will be do not drink and get your life back in order. Amend your ways. Do a better job. Realize you have the problem. The recovery from the abuse could be completely lost in the years of burying the pain.
During the gap between the onset of trauma or the continued stress of chronic trauma, intervention is the most effective. The intervention has to be focused on the need of the individual and the relationships in the family. “One Size Fits All” does not work. Research is now showing the importance of client-centric care and all agencies are now putting this into their protocols.
The issue is identification. That means education. If identified, we do have good trauma intervention. Now specialists trained have to be available to receive referrals. If there are not enough, then we do need to think about tele-appointments.
Of course, the questions is who needs to be trained in identification of trauma? EVERYONE. I have spoken to experts, and this needs to just become part of our knowledge and language. The community, parents, children, and everyone can learn to spot red flags. First responders, teachers, and doctors are another group. Lawyers, law enforcement, jailers and courts are important as well. All people in the community can be part of the solution. A safety net for crisis.
Now with the training and the ability to refer trauma cases, first responders and the government now have a tool kit to help people that CRASH get to the core trauma and prevent future crashes through core issue recovery. This is personal empowerment that move beyond the trauma that damaged the power of the individual to manage their own lives.
One says, okay we identify someone in need, then what happens? What do we do then? Where do we go? Who tests what? Who helps?
That is where GFA hopes to come into play. We are the pipeline that networks everyone together. As a resource between the community, the need and all the resources for that need. We have a plan. And that plan is what we believe will help fill the gap and shorten the time between crisis and intervention.
Increased awareness through education and community support is preventative way to recover people from trauma and stop the escalation of so many overdoses, addictions, trafficking, bullying, violence, mass shootings and suicide..
All around the goal is to help families by making community stronger. This will take the stress off of so many services by providing a way to help people more quickly. When we can identify the need and the services required, we can then build up the areas in the community that are lacking.
The system is simple. Yet, in its simplicity it can handle the most complex situations and rapidly be updated with new information. This will make, in our opinion, some major changes in our ability to help people.
Thank you for your interest. Look around. Read the research. If you have questions, reach out. If you want to contribute to the program let us know.
If you need services, we can coach you on how to find what you are looking for, and maybe over time we can can be the network that helps you.