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Earthquake Kills 22 in southwestern China Essay

1. Type of crisis

Earthquake is an example of adventitious crisis, a natural disaster “that is not part of an everyday life and is unplanned and accidental” (Varcarolis, 2006, pp 422-423). Victims of earthquakes usually suffer from trauma, panic, shock, grief, fear and mental disorganization (which could be manifested by running around aimlessly or inability to concentrate). People who suffer from such an adventitious disaster are reported to have flashbacks or nightmares connected to the event after it happened.

2. Type of stressors that contributed to the crisis

Earthquakes happen suddenly and people are caught off guard with the sudden and swift destruction that it brought about to them personally (e.g., damage or loss of property and the painful loss of a loved one or loved ones).   Psychologically, emotionally and mentally the victims are not prepared for the sudden loss and change of life or way of life (e.g. having to live in an evacuation center with all of its limited supply of basic necessities, or having to live with a physical disability due to the earthquake). In this instance, anxiety, grief and panic levels go up severely in just a matter of seconds.  With the combine sudden loss of property and loved ones, the victim/s may be overwhelmed.

3. Coping skills of the people involved

Since problem is a part of life, it is very important that a person has learned a number of techniques that can be use to lower anxiety and to adapt to the situation when problem arises. One of the key techniques that people use is to engage in prayer. Prayer helps to lighten the load as a person learns to accept and submit to the will of God.  Also, prayer clears a person’s mind which enabled him to restore balance and equilibrium and make right choices. A person should also not isolate himself but should express to others what he is feeling and allow himself to be surrounded and comforted with other members of the family and friends.

Moreover, the victim should cooperate with the help and assistance being provided by the government, counseling, medical and other disaster agencies.  If needed he should transfer to a place or engage in activities that helps him forget the incident (Varcarolis, 2006, pp.423-429). In the case of children, they should be taught to understand the situation, be assured by the parent’s presence and parents should model calm behavior and seek to divert the children’s attention by providing fun activities for them( Handouts : Talking to Children about Crisis).

4. Goal of the resolution of the crisis

“Crisis by definition is self-limiting so that as soon as possible they are resolved, preferably within 4 to six weeks” so that a person or group of persons function normally again in spite of their loss and accept what happen to them during the earthquake disaster ( Varcarolis, 2006,p.422    ). More importantly the goal of the resolution of the crisis is to lower anxiety level since anxiety hampers the person’s ability to face and solve his own problems. Short term goals of the resolution of the crisis by the end of the first session involves the lowering down of anxiety level from severe to moderate or moderate to mild, clarify the problem in solvable terms, identify existing supports and other needed supports, set realistic goals to deal with the problem and identify a step by step plan of action. Otherwise a person’s safety may be at risk for due to hopelessness, grief, and fear he may tend to act suicidal or become mentally ill (Varcarolis,2006,pp. 427 & 430).

5. Possible resources/referrals that might be needed to help to return to pre-crisis level of functioning

It may be necessary that victims of earthquakes should be remove from the place where it happened. Therefore, they may need to be referred to a stable shelter. Rehabilitation, debriefing and counseling is also recommended where psychologists, counselors and other cognitive-behavioral therapists helps them to restore balance and equilibrium. Friends, family and peer groups should also be a part of the healing process. If the person develops psychotic thinking, violent or suicidal behavior then he may need a psychiatric treatment. If he suffers from physical injuries or other health needs then he must be rushed to a hospital or clinic. Children whose parents were not coping well with the stress that the disaster had caused should be put under child care. Vocational and skills training program should also be provided to help the victims go back to supporting themselves again especially for those who had become disabled (Varcarolis, 2006, pp. 429-438; Handouts: Talking to Children about Crisis).


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