Milwaukee's Crisis Prevention Institute combats COVID-19 related 'fear, stress and anxiety'

Susan Driscoll

MILWAUKEE -- The coronavirus pandemic has brought additional stress to our lives, whether it be at home, at the grocery store or when interacting with co-workers. Dealing with that stress in a healthy way is important for you and those around you. For the last four decades, experts at Milwaukee's Crisis Prevention Institute have trained people in conflict resolution -- practices they say are needed now more than ever.

"It's just fear, stress and anxiety like we've never experienced," said Susan Driscoll, president of the Crisis Prevention Institute.

These are unprecedented times with unprecedented stress.

"I don't think any of us were wired for what we're dealing with right now," said Driscoll.

People are experiencing anxiety at home, at work and in public -- forced to keep a distance from others while being forced into close quarters with family members.

"If you go in with the right frame of mind, you're going to have a much better outcome," said Driscoll.

For 40 years, the Milwaukee-based Crisis Prevention Institute has offered training on de-escalation techniques for health care workers and educators -- techniques being used in every day life amid the pandemic.

"What we teach is to have people recognize the signs of an escalating crisis, and know what to do specifically, at any given stage, to de-escalate, and get the person back to a state of calm," said Driscoll.

Driscoll said whether it's at the supermarket, the hospital or at home, we should all practice empathy, and remember everyone is experiencing similar anxiety.

"You can't control their behavior," said Driscoll. "You can't even know what's going on in their lives, or their head, but you absolutely can control your behavior. We will get through it, but don't forget to be compassionate. Don't forget we are all in this together."

The Crisis Prevention Institute, which has trained more than 15 million people across the country, is offering free tips on reducing conflict. CLICK HERE to learn more.