View of an old underground parking area with parked cars.

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Imagine you’re in a dark parking garage by yourself at 2 am. You hear a noise and your senses become heightened, your heart rate increases, and you move faster toward your vehicle with your keys out and ready. In that moment, you are escalated because of the lack of safety you are feeling. These same types of emotional and physical responses occur with the people we serve. This is why we do our best to create and maintain the safest environments we can for people in our care. Even with our best efforts to keep our service settings safe, for many different reasons it is not always possible resulting in people becoming escalated.

Now picture yourself back in that same parking garage at 2 am except now you’re with 3 or 4 of your close friends. Does it feel any different? Having people present that you know and trust, even in an environment that may not normally feel safe, can help people get their safety and security needs met and prevent the level of escalation that may happen otherwise.

This is just one of the reasons why The Mandt System focuses on the importance of healthy and safe relationships between caregivers and people served. Sometimes one of the simplest things that can happen to help an individual feel safe in a threatening situation is for someone that person knows and trusts to be there with them. The challenge for caregivers is to be those people for the individuals in their care.

Doug ZehrVogt – Mandt Faculty

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