Mental Health Intervention Strategies
There is more than one way to conduct an intervention, but having the help of a professional can improve the chances of success. A mental health interventionist is trained in recognizing the signs of mental health disorders and communicating in an empathetic and understanding way with someone who has a mental disorder. A professional can also train loved ones on how to most effectively communicate with and support a person with a mental health disorder.
A professional mental health interventionist may use one of the following common strategies when intervening with your loved one:
- Johnson model: According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the Johnson model involves caregivers confronting the person with their concerns. With this type of intervention, you determine who from your loved one’s social circle will be willing to be part of the intervention. Your group convenes for two planning meetings to develop goals and problem-solving strategies for the intervention and learn how to best support the loved one. With the help of a therapist, your group then carries out the intervention and approaches the person about mental health concerns.
- ARISE: The ARISE intervention method is called an “invitational intervention.” Repeated family meetings gradually become more intense to encourage your loved one to get treatment. The person with the mental health condition is invited to meetings from the very beginning, so there are no surprises. Rather than using a confrontational approach, ARISE utilizes gentle methods to help you approach your loved one with your concerns.
- CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training): The CRAFT intervention model teaches families how to effectively communicate their concerns. Loved ones also learn to practice self-care and use positive reinforcement to motivate appropriate behaviors from the person with a mental illness. The model can also teach you how to get your loved one to accept help for a mental health disorder.
- Family systemic model: The family systemic intervention model accepts that a mental illness affects not only individuals with addictions but also the people closest to them. The model leads the entire family to seek counseling and develop healthy communication patterns. The family systemic model does not use any surprise meetings, as the person living with a mental health disorder attends each intervention meeting. The model usually involves more than one meeting, but the intervention ultimately concludes with everyone in the family accepting treatment to help them cope with the effects of a mental health disorder.
- Motivational interviewing: An interventionist may use the motivational interviewing technique to help people overcome their hesitation to seek treatment. This technique acknowledges that it is normal for people to have some resistance toward making changes. An interventionist using this technique remains empathetic and non-confrontational while looking for opportunities to discuss how your loved one’s mental health disorder may be getting in the way of life goals.
How To Set up an Intervention for Mental Health
The first step in setting up a mental health intervention is to contact a professional. This person can listen to your family’s story and determine the best method for intervening with your loved one.
Once you determine a mental health intervention strategy, you can decide who should participate in the process. Close family members, such as parents, siblings or grandparents, often participate. If they are old enough, children may also participate. Support people, such as close friends, colleagues or members from the person’s church or other organizations, may also be part of the intervention.
When completing an intervention, it is important to remain focused on the topic of concern: your desire for your loved one to be healthy and get the treatment necessary for a fulfilling life. You should avoid shaming your loved one or placing blame on them.