Crisis Intervention Worker Certification

Cost: Free

Overview:  The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services ( PA-DHS), Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) created presentations for anyone interested in working within the Crisis System

  1. 988
  2. Mobile Crisis
  3. Behavioral Health Centers
  4. Short-term Crisis Stabilization programs)

Persons who are hired to work in the Crisis System, within Pennsylvania must complete trainings; therefore, this certification course is designed for individuals to complete the required trainings and is a benefit for organizations, having a one stop shop for online training and informational resources.

Any professional or community member who simply desires to gain awareness or knowledge on crisis related topics are welcome to view trainings. These trainings are designed to provide learners with definitions, insights into various populations, and tangible skills, which can be taken directly into their work environments. Each presentation was developed by a subject matter expert with the understanding these courses will be appropriate for anyone who works with people.

Crisis Intervention Workers are welcome to MyOMHSAS to complete the online trainings required for certification as a Crisis Intervention Worker. This certification will be valid for 2 years. This 20-course training system is broken down into four components:

  1. Pre-Employment training (4 courses)
  2. Onboarding training (8 courses)
  3. Ongoing training (8 courses)
  4. In person Training (2 courses)

Audience: Courses in Crisis Intervention Certification have been designed for any person who works with people and persons employed (or will be employed) within the Crisis System. These courses are appropriate for novice and seasoned professionals and any citizen with the Commonwealth.

Time: Each course is roughly one hour in duration; in person de-escalation is six hours, and Mental Health First Aid Certification is 6 hours; TOTAL 30 hours of training


Ensure you have registered for a MyOMHSAS online training account.

A. Trainings for Personal / Professional Growth (NON-CERTIFICATION)

Interested in learning more about definitions, techniques, and skills working with people, but NOT LOOKING TO BE CERTIFIED – simply take the training modules in anyway you desire.

B. Certification Process:

Due to regulatory requirements, there are a few rules to follow when working through the certification process. A learner must complete all aspects of training within each step (below) prior to moving on to next Step.

Step 1: Start Here: Pre-Employment Training

These courses must be taken prior to starting position as crisis worker, can be completed in any order, all the courses are one hour in duration. Once completed this section, print out your completed courses to provide to your employer.

      1. De-escalation 101
      2. Crisis System Regulation Overview
      3. Suicide Risk Assessment
      4. Trauma & Trauma-Informed Care

Step 2: Onboarding (first month of employment)

These courses must be completed within the first month of employment. Each course is one hour in duration and can be taken in any order. Once completed this section, print out your completed courses to provide to employer.

      1. Brain Chemistry of Addiction
      2. Confidentiality, Consent & HIPAA
      3. Intervening & Assessment
      4. Recovery Principles
      5. Skills in Screening
      6. SMI Basics
      7. Understanding PA’s Mental Health Procedures Act
      8. Working Collaboratively with Families

Step 3: Ongoing Training

To complete requirements toward certification, these courses need to be completed, all one hour in duration, can take these courses in any order.

      1. Affirming Responses for LGBTQA+
      2. Anti-Racist practices in working with BIPOC Individuals
      3. Brain Development & Impact of Trauma
      4. Cultural Humility in working with New Pennsylvanians
      5. Forensic Mental Health Services & Supports
      6. Preventing Ageist Practices in Crisis Services
      7. Value of Peer & Recovery Specialty in crisis response
      8. Working Collaboratively with Law Enforcement Officers

Step 4: In-Person Training

In addition to the online aspect of training, individuals seeking certification must complete the following.

      1. De-Escalation Training (6 hours)
      2. Mental Health First Aid Certification (6 hours)

Future Educational Opportunities:

Come back to MyOMHSAS for updated content and additional modules, which may provide insight / education on a variety of topics related to mental health and substance abuse services.