When a mentally ill person goes into crisis, it can be a challenging and even dangerous situation. Proper response is key to deescalating the problem, while promoting the well-being of the individual. To meet this need, law-enforcement organizations and mental-health agencies use Crisis Intervention Teams, who are skilled in managing psychological emergencies. The coordinator leads the team and ensures that it is always ready to handle crises as they occur.
Crisis Intervention Skills
CIT coordinators must be service-oriented, with a willingness to help others who are in crisis. Active listening skills are necessary to determine client needs, as well as agency goals. The coordinator properly directs team members with his management skills. According to the employment website O*Net Online, mental-health counseling also requires good speaking skills to communicate crisis management tactics to clients. The gift of persuasion is also valuable to entice them into changing their risky behaviors or mindsets. CIT coordination also involves a lot of documentation, so writing skills are useful.
Preparing For Crisis
A major responsibility for CIT coordinators is preparing the team to act when crisis ensues. This entails hiring team members and ensuring that they possess the necessary education and skill set. The coordinator also designs intervention plans and trains the team on its details. Mock scenarios are often set up to meet this need. Coordinators may also train law-enforcement officers or other members of a mental-health agency. He also maintains a record of high-risk clients, monitoring their treatment plans and medication compliance.
Dealing With Crisis
When a crisis arises, the CIT coordinator must quickly and efficiently implement the intervention plan. If the crisis involves an individual who is experiencing a mental-health emergency, the coordinator may assign a team member to personally respond and carry out the plan. For a more widespread crisis, such as a violent weather emergency, the coordinator will direct team members to perform their specific duties and also provide guidance to other agency workers on dealing with the problem. The main goal of the CIT coordinator is to deescalate the crisis and promote the mental health of everyone involved.
Getting The Job
Most CIT coordinators hold at least a bachelor's degree in some area of mental health or social services. Many have also earned a master's degree. If the coordinator is expected to make diagnoses or administer medications, the proper clinical license is required. According to O*Net Online, the job outlook for mental health counselors is bright, with a projected growth of 22 percent through 2022.
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