Assisting Individuals in Crisis Online Course

This online course does not include the classroom exercises that are part of the in-person version of this course.  A separate “Skills” program that provides the exercises will be offered quarterly at a charge of $25.00 (effective January 1, 2022).  You are not required to take that course, although your core knowledge of Assisting Individuals in Crisis is incomplete until you have participated in the interactive classroom exercises.  The information regarding the date of the skills program, which is scheduled quarterly, will be given to you at the completion of this online course.

NOTE:  This course can’t be used towards the Certificate of Specialized Training Program or towards the Approved Instructor Candidate Program requirements until the classroom exercises have been completed.

Course Description

Crisis Intervention is NOT psychotherapy; rather, it is a specialized acute emergency mental health intervention which requires specialized training. As physical first aid is to surgery, crisis intervention is to psychotherapy. Thus, crisis intervention is sometimes called “emotional first aid”. This program is designed to teach participants the fundamentals of, and a specific protocol for, individual crisis intervention.  This course offers core knowledge for anyone involved in Peer Support and crisis intervention. This includes people in the fields of Emergency Services, Public Safety,  Law Enforcement, Military, Disaster Response, Education, Employee Assistance, Healthcare, Homeland Security, Mental Health, Spiritual Care, and Business & Industry.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the need for psychological crisis intervention (PFA).
  • Understand and differentiate the key terms and concepts relevant to the study of psychological crisis intervention/ PFA.
  • Be able to assess the “psychological toxicity” of a critical incident/ disaster.
  • Understand the nature and definition of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and its role as a continuum of care.
  • Understand the risks of iatrogenic “harm” associated with psychological crisis intervention and will further understand how to reduce those risks.
  • Review research relevant to the practice of psychological crisis intervention.
  • Be better able to recognize common psychological and behavioral crisis reactions.
  • List the putative and empirically-derived mechanisms of action in psychological crisis intervention.
  • Understand the steps in the SAFER-R model of individual psychological crisis intervention/ PFA.
  • Understand how the SAFER-R model may be altered for suicide intervention.

Requesting This Online Course:





Certificates and Continuing Education:

General Contact Hours: 

10 Contact Hours: 1.0 General CEUs from University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Dept. of Emergency Health Services Professional and Continuing Education (PACE). Based on a formula of 1 Continuing Education Unit for every 10 contact/classroom hours.

ICISF Certificate of Completion:

After the completion of this ICISF course, with verified full attendance, participants are eligible to receive an electronic ICISF Certificate of Completion including General Continuing Education Units. Participants are required to complete a course evaluation prior to receiving this Certificate of Completion. 

Completion of ICISF courses and receipt of an ICISF Certificate of Completion does not attest to competence in the field, nor does it provide certification in the field of CISM. 

Profession Specific CEUs:

If you are seeking continuing education requirements for a specific profession, contacting the relevant state licensing board is the best way to ensure you have the most up-to-date and accurate information. They can provide you with specific details regarding whether a Certificate of Completion from a particular course or program will be accepted towards your continuing education requirements. 

If the ICISF course you attend is offered through:

ICISF Virtual Training, Online Training, or Regional Training, it is approved for the following:

  • EAPA – Employee Assistance Professionals Association 
    10 PDHs; Expiration Date – April 11, 2024

ICISF Speakers Bureau Program: It is up to the Sponsoring Agency to apply for profession-specific Continuing Education Units (CEUs) if they choose to do so. 

ICISF Approved-Instructor led Program: While our Approved Instructors have the authority to teach specific ICISF courses, it is their responsibility to apply for profession-specific Continuing Education Units (CEUs) if they choose to do so. 

** Please check with your state licensing board prior to registration to see if they will accept the Certificate of Completion as a means for continuing education.

*PLEASE NOTE: These hours are only applicable towards courses offered at Virtual Trainings, Regional Trainings, Online Courses, and the World Congress.

Learn more on our ICISF Continuing Education Information page.