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Crisis Counselor

  • Job ID: 845792093
  • Status: Full-Time
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • Hours:
  • Shift: Variable
  • Facility: UPMC Altoona
  • Department: Behavioral Health Crisis
  • Location: , Altoona PA
  • Union Position: No
  • Salary Range: $19.35 to $31.02 / hour


Crisis Counselor
1.0 Fulltime Varied Shifts
non union
Posted: 6/9/2020


The Crisis Counselor renders crisis prevention and intervention services to residents of all ages for problems of a mental health, mental retardation, situational, drug and/or alcohol nature. The Crisis Counselor assesses client's needs, provides direct counseling or other service as needed. This worker participates in developing, teaching, and evaluating training programs in emergency services as well as assisting in clinical research. The work demands initiative, superior judgment and highly independent functioning and is performed under the general supervision of the Access and Utilization Director.

  • 2. Establish short-term goals with clients, provide follow-up services as needed, and make appropriate/expeditious referrals.Crisis counselors will provide home visits and other outreach services to schools and other agencies/providers that is necessary and appropriate. Crisis Staff may transport self or others as necessary and appropriate for Community Crisis Center functions. Crisis Staff will thoroughly screen referrals to assure proper utilization of Outpatient Services. The Crisis Center must promptly and accurately complete clinical records and all collateral forms as necessary and requiredArrange for hospitalization of clients, either on a voluntary or involuntary basis, and thoroughly assess to assure that it is the least restrictive alternative. In facilitating a patient's admission, Crisis Staff must accurately assess for special needs and alert other staff and/or physician to the apparent needs of the patient. Crisis Staff will act expeditiously in assisting police and all community agencies, including other hospital staff The Crisis Staff will arrange emergency/temporary placement as appropriate. The Crisis Staff will coordinate efforts to obtain a volunteer worker for individuals in need of follow-up after rape/sexual assault.
  • The Crisis Staff will help intervene in the management of violent patients for the Center for Behavioral Health Services and to all other patient areas of the Altoona Regional Health System.
  • Participate in assigned Continuous Performance Improvement activities including but not limited to conducting patient surveys, gathering and analyzing data for CPI monitors, completing reports, etc. Responsible to be knowledgeable of the standards and requirements, (including Member/Consumer Choice, Access Standards, Clinical and Administrative Standards), of a relevant organizations and regulatory bodies. Provide clinical and administrative requirements to consumers and interface with MCO's as per the standards and requirements of all managed care organizations and regulatory bodies
  • Work as part of a mental health emergency response team and avail themselves to work various shifts and covering call-offs when feasibleThe Crisis Staff will cooperate with all referral sources and will provide assistance, direction, and feedback as necessary and appropriate. The Crisis Staff will provide consultation services to other Hospital departments and other providers as necessary and appropriate. Crisis Staff will provide back-up services for other service areas within the Center for Behavioral Health Services as needed.
  • Assume school-based intervention and supportive services to students in school districts . Provide school-based (Human Service Coordinator) services as directed
  • Fulfill other job duties as described by supervisor
  • 1. Provide prompt and thorough assessment, evaluation, and intervention via telephone or in person, and provide written and verbal communication where indicated. Crisis Staff must demonstrate ability to assimilate data from a wide range of observations, and use various clinical techniques and skills in gathering the client's personal, family, medical, and psychiatric histories. Understands the special needs of patients with co-occurring disorders (mental health and substance abuse), and utilizes appropriate assessment and intervention techniques
  • Complete work within the standards of UPMC values
  • Assist in maintenance of CCC Office, including but not limited to: (1) Assisting the availability of forms and supplies; (2) Keeping office orderly and clean; updating manuals, reporting malfunction of equipment


  • Must have a Bachelor's Degree, preferably in one of the behavioral sciences or nursing.
  • One year clinical experience in mental health or related area is preferred
  • Be available to work flexible and irregular schedule and must cooperate with other staff regarding scheduling needs.  
  • Demonstrates the ability to exercise independent judgment and employee effective clinical techniques under highly stressful conditions.  
  • Be able to perform work according to guidelines established by the Access and Utilization Director.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.  
  • Be physically able to defend self and assist in humane restraint.
  • Works cooperatively and effectively with other professionals, patients, and families in developing realistic treatment plans.
  • Relates to and works effectively with people.
  • Works in accordance with established regulations, policies, and procedures of the Center for Behavioral Health Services, the general Hospital, and the Community Crisis Center.
  • Must possess a valid Pennsylvania driver's license and have access to an operational/privately owned

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:
CPR required based on AHA standards that include both a didactic and skills demonstration component within 30 days of hire

  • Automotive Insurance
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) OR Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Driver's License
  • Act 31 Child Abuse Reporting with renewal
  • Act 33 with renewal
  • Act 34 with renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance with renewal

  • UPMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

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       Current UPMC employees must apply in HR Direct