Assisting Individuals in Crisis Online Course

Requesting This 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 at a future date with a separate cost (yet to be determined).  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.  Please look for future communication about the “Skills” program on our Education & Training page.

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.

Continuing Education Information

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.