Life Space Crisis Intervention
Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) is a therapeutic, verbally-based strategy designed to intervene with students in crisis to address behavior, thinking and feelings. LSCI focuses on the crisis that occurs when an incident escalates into a conflict between a student and others. The adult serves as a mediator between the stressors, the student’s actions, the reactions of others and the private world of feelings that students seem unable to handle without help. LSCI goes beyond simply deescalating a crisis to addressing the characteristic patterns of misbehaving that a student uses routinely which gets him/her into trouble with peers and adults. LSCI is insight oriented, and as such, is designed to decrease the likelihood that students continue to engage in problem behavior that results in safety concerns. Research suggests that LSCI is effective in reducing crises and suspensions in middle school students, the disruptive behavior of adolescents with learning problems and improving academic and social behavior of adolescents with behavioral disorders in a residential treatment center. More information can be found on LSCI’s website.
LSCI is not restraint training.
We have proposed to enhance existing practices by increasing school capacity for responding to escalating student behavior through the use of LSCI and the development of crisis response teams with links to community-based mental health care professionals. A “Train the Trainer’ program for Life Space Crisis Intervention will be available to build capacity in each region of the state. A five day train the trainer course will be provided to people who will be nationally certified in LSCI. Thereafter, the certified trainers will participate in a 3 day senior trainer program to allow them to certify others. Once trained as senior trainers, they will train and certify at least three staff members from each participating school and staff from partner agencies and organizations. LSCI trained personnel will also provide a primer in LSCI to all school staff.
Such an approach will allow us to increase the capacity and use of evidenced-based mental health care practices by school personnel, mental health care providers and other community partners that improve crisis prevention and intervention services to children with mental health needs and their families. Schools in each of the five geographic regions will have access to certified trainers in Life Space Crisis Intervention who in turn will train at least three staff members in each participating MAST-NH school to use these strategies to respond to escalating behavior and decrease the likelihood it will result in crisis.
The ability to reduce the likelihood of behavior escalating into crises is critical to ensuring the safety of students and staff alike and a fundamental building block for a system or care and education. Behavior that creates a safety concern in school is likely to result in injury to self or others, decreased opportunities to learn, suspensions and expulsion.