Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/ADRA/Conflict Resolution/R2a

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Teenagers are humans (contrary to some rumours) and therefore are subject to the same human needs as shown on the pyramid. However, as people in transition to an adult world, teenagers face additional decisions and challenges. With less experience in handling crisis situations than older people, teenagers may need to learn tools and skills to cope with life. Families are also comprised of humans who must function in relationships with each other. Families with teenagers are in for an interesting time as their teenagers grow up, leave home, study, find love and enter the workforce.

Once they get into a discussion, Teenagers will, however, focus on the human needs that are most pressing for them.

Discussion topics may include:

  • Divorce and family recombinations that place stress on family members
  • Decisions about school and career
  • Job loss and economic crisis in the family
  • Dating and romance
  • Self esteem challenges
  • Suicide thoughts
  • Peer pressure to try illegal, unhealthy or immoral things
  • Family violence and other types of abuse
  • Loss of a family member or loved one
  • etc

Often in any crisis whether it be a wide area disaster or the loss of a close family member the emotional crisis can be devastating to an individual. Not all people are emotionally equipped to react and continue to even function when facing what many would call an overwhelming situation. For these people immediate assistance is needed as they may have frozen themselves in a dangerous location, may become depressed even to the point of suicidal or may react in outrage and violent fashion.

To help to bring these reactions to a close or to a point controllable first the person must be helped to a place physically and mentally where they are not in immediate danger and they must be helped to realize this. In the case of the loss of a parent this may mean that the teen is helped to realize that they have many friends, and family, a community that will help them to go on and provide for their needs.

The human needs of any individual start with the same basics: shelter, water, and food. As Christians we recognize the need first for God and our relationship with Him and will remind those we help to keep this need first in all things. Beyond these basic needs there are possibly physical, medical, and emotional support needs that will be considered. A person injured in the fire that has destroyed his home needs medical attention before he needs emotional support (although the two may come nearly simultaneously at times). In professional occupations that deal with high stress matters or regular human suffering the emotional support to follow is most often called Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. This is a form of counseling that is important not only to professionals like firefighters but also to families and communities in need.

The stress of an incident can be overwhelming and may manifest itself some great time later or be a fixture in a person's actions and outlook to life. Although not all people are affected by such stress it is best to see to the potential needs of a person in crisis to avert the possible self destruction that may come. In this we consider not only what a person says they are feeling and facing, not only what they have gone through, but in the long term what they are like today vs. the person they were before their crisis.

In immediate intervention you will be a shoulder to lean on, someone to offer support, to be yelled at, to be cried to. You will offer encouragement and help to arrange for those basic needs of shelter, water, and food. You will report to your "supervisor" in intervention any issue you observe that may need to be referred to professional counseling. You will be a friend.

Families face a variety of crisis situations and some things that some may not consider to be a crisis can be devastating. For this purpose we will list common crisis situations:

  • House fire
  • Death of a loved one
  • Loss of income
  • Terminal disease
  • Birth Defects
  • Multiple Births (quintuplets for example, imagine five kids at one time could be stressful)
  • Serious Injury
  • Natural Disaster