An ecological map (eco-map) is a pictorial representation of the patient's entire support network. Included in this eco-map are a genogram and the immediate support network. This map should include the patient's current family, the family of origin for three generations, and all the people and community resources in the patient's immediate living environment (e.g., family, neighbors, law enforcement, physician, church, social services agencies). An eco-map can be used by a family physician to help decide who can help the patient, who needs to be excluded, or what social, religious, legal, or economic resources need to be mobilized to assist the patient in crisis.

Using Case Study 3, Denise's eco-map is illustrated in Figure 45-3. Her physician, church, social worker from her son's school, a local shelter, and neighbors might be called on to assist her during this crisis. Her parents and the local police could also be important for her immediate safety. The decisions about which support elements to use should be negotiated with the patient. Denise and her physician decided that the safety plan would utilize church members to get her child to her at the local women's shelter. While there, she began talks with her parents about moving in with them.

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