Application: Comparative Analysis of Systemic Crises
As you learned last week, crises that share the "individual, couple, and family" classification nevertheless can differ dramatically in terms of their breadth and the intervention strategies most often used to address them. The same is true of systemic crises. "Systemic crises" comprise the second broad category into which certain types of crisis situations can be classified.
The unifying factor between the types of situations in this category is implied by its title—systemic crises affect large systems. This might be a school, a workplace, a particular community, or an entire city, state, country, or region. When a systemic crisis occurs, not just one person or family is affected. Dozens, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of individuals, couples, and families might feel the impact. The breadth of impact of a systemic crisis, then, is broader than in an individual, couple, and/or family crisis situation, yet can still vary somewhat between different types within the category as a whole. A public health disaster, such as a worldwide flu outbreak, for instance, would have a larger and more complex breadth of impact than would a natural disaster, such as a tornado, that affects a single community.
Systemic crisis interventions require a combination of strategies to be effective. Such crises have the potential to affect every aspect of life, meaning response efforts must include everything from the immediate provision of basic needs such as potable water, food, shelter, medication, and the physical safety of those affected, to intensive counseling for victims suffering from psychological distress, to long-term plans for rebuilding or ongoing recovery. As a result, intervention strategies for all systemic crises must be multifaceted, multipronged, and developed cooperatively between and among multiple organizations and/or agencies. At the same time, the specific strategies implemented may vary across situations. Every crisis is unique and thus requires a customized response depending on the needs of those affected.
To prepare for this assignment:
• Consider the types of systemic crises presented this week: school-based; crisis/hostage situations; natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes, tornadoes, floods); human-made disasters (e.g., terrorism, war, fires); and public health disasters (e.g., SARS, Legionnaire’s outbreak, flu pandemic). Select two specific systemic crisis situations. Each must represent a different type as listed above. Both should be different from the type of crisis you analyzed in this week’s Discussion.
• Review Chapters 13 and 17 of your course text, Crisis Intervention Strategies, paying particular attention to the unique and shared characteristics of the two systemic crisis situations you selected, especially their breadth of impact. Also focus on the crisis intervention strategies utilized for both types of crises and the ways in which they vary and are similar to one another.
• Review any additional Learning Resources relevant to your selections (i.e., articles or video programs) that might assist you in understanding the similarities and differences between the two systemic crises you selected and the intervention strategies utilized for each.
The assignment (2–3 pages):
Week 4 learning recourses
Please read and view (where applicable) the following Learning Resources before you complete this week’s assignments.
• Course Text: James, R. K. & Gilliland, B.E. (2017). Crisis intervention strategies (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
o Chapter 13, "Crises in Schools"
o Chapter 17, "Disaster Response"
• Article: Brown, M. M., & Grumet, J. G. (2009). School-based suicide prevention with African American youth in an urban setting. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 40(2), 111–117.
Use the PsycARTICLES database.
This article summarizes the results of a study that implemented a screening program for suicide ideation, depression, and anxiety at 13 middle and high schools in an attempt to prevent suicidal crisis among African American youth in Washington, DC.
• Article: Wong, H., & Leung, T. T. F. (2008). Collaborative vs. adversarial relationship between the state and civil society in facing public disaster: The case of Hong Kong in the SARS crisis. Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development, 18(2), 45–58.
Use the SocINDEX database.
In this article, the authors examine the disaster mitigation efforts in Hong Kong following the SARS crisis, with particular emphasis on state-civil society relations.
• Article: Logue, J. N. (2006). The public health response to disasters in the 21st century: Reflections on Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Environmental Health, 69(2), 9–13.
Use the Academic Search Complete database.
• Article: Smith, D. C. (2005). Organizing for disaster preparedness. Journal of Community Practice, 13(4), 131–141.
Use the Academic Search Complete database.
• Website: American Red Cross