Future Trends in Crisis Intervention

Table of contents


Mental Health Paraprofessionals (MHPP) will work with the client and family on behavioral issues that occur in the home, school, and community. The MHPP serves on the treatment team and assists professional staff with the execution of the treatment plan. They also assist with securing community services that might be available to the client and the client’s family. The purpose of intensive Mental Health Paraprofessional Intervention is to enable the client to be maintained in the most normalized, least restrictive setting as possible, and to prevent unnecessary, inappropriate institutionalization.

This paper discusses an overview paraprofessionals, the impact the paraprofessionals have on the field, the challenges that organizations are faced, and how to manage with the implemented changes. Future Trends in Crisis Intervention As the population in the United States continues to climb the need for human services professionals does the same. Human service agencies are often face the dilemmas of being over-worked and under paid. Professionals in this field are often prone to burnout because of these dilemmas. Sadly, human service agencies are often the first to experience budget cuts.

These budget cuts affect the human service professional’s organization, facility, coworkers, pay, clients, and their personal moral. Leading officials of many human service organizations are noticing the affects of these dilemmas and are trying proactive approaches in solving the epidemics. As a result, the paraprofessional is becoming increasingly popular as the organization can fill the much needed worker positions and assist in alleviating clinician case load. This paper discusses the impact of this trend on the human services field and how the trend will impact the practice of crisis intervention in the future.

The challenges faced as a result of the impact, and how the worker can proactively deal with this expanding trend is also covered. It is vital for these services to keep up with the demand and save as much of the valuable budget money. The Paraprofessional Counseling paraprofessionals are bachelor’s level graduates whom have completed a course in order to become certified as a paraprofessional. Paraprofessionals generally work in mental health centers, crisis units, day treatment programs and group homes.

Generally they provide direct care to patients, where as a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist offer more specified trained services. Treatment centers will employ support staff to work directly with their patients; counseling center paraprofessionals (CCP) are distinctly different from other support staff (Barrios & Perlas, 2010). They hold a certification in working with the mentally ill and a bachelor’s degree while certified counseling technicians (CCT) have a similar certification, but hold a high school diploma instead of a bachelor’s degree (Barrios & Perlas, 2010).

Some treatment centers will also hire direct service professionals that do not have CCP or CCT certifications, but generally, those whom hold a certification are in higher demand and are more employable. Contact of a Paraprofessional The main purpose of a CCP is to interact directly with patients in their care; this may involve setting and enforcing rules on unit, organizing daily activities, and helping with chores or other similar duties.

According to Christine Wyman (2012), “They often have more contact with clients that much of the other staff, including doctors, psychologists, and therapists, as the CCP is usually in charge of the client’s day to day activities. ” Though the CCP performs less specialized work, they often have the most insight into individual clients. Because of the constant contact they are an invaluable member of the treatment team. With how often CCP’s get to observe patients on a daily basis they are able to pick up on behavior patterns that other staff may not see.

They are also able to see how various treatments affect a patient in their daily lives. Some CCPs are designated to work one on one with a single client. A CCP in this role is often assigned as such because a client has a particular need. “Such needs could include but are not limited to helping a client with severe cognitive or physical limitations, watching a client whom is a danger to himself or others or working with a client whose treatment goals involve intensive one on one work” (Wyman, 2012).


There are many ways that the use of counseling center paraprofessionals can benefit the organization. One of the many benefits of the paraprofessional in the human service career field could be that they require less training than typical clinician or other human service professional. That way the CCP is able to become certified and begin work in a much shorter time frame then someone who is going through all the required schooling and testing to become a licensed professional. Another aspect deals with the lesser amount of pay therefore saving the organization money.

With the way budgets are being cut it is important to stretch every dollar as much as possible. “Someone without the education or licensure will not be able to do as much as a professional and therefore require less pay therefore saving money for other areas it is needed” (Barrios ;amp; Perlas, 2010). Since CCP’s spend a great deal of time with the patients they serve as valuable member of the treatment team in helping diagnose issues and observe if prescribed treatments are working. With the CCP’s doing this then that opens up the professionals to work with more clients on a one on one basis.

Challenges Paraprofessionals in the human services field can be considered both an important asset and a nuisance to the clinicians and the clients served. With all the good that a paraprofessional brings the position also has some negatives. During this tumultuous economy, districts find themselves entertaining a variety of solutions as a means of tackling severe budget reductions, and colleges are faced with the impossible task of providing quality student services without adequate resources.

As a result, paraprofessionals may have absorbed additional duties previously performed by a robust counseling department. Also the CCP’s can be improperly trained or supervised. Because of these two occurrences the care provided can suffer. When people are overworked they are more likely to suffer from burnout. In this case the lack of CCP’s can cause burnout on behalf of the professionals and if the CCP’s are doing more than they should they can become burnt out. Managing Paraprofessional responsibilities should not extend beyond information dissemination.

When the duties expand into goal setting, planning or decision making, the paraprofessional has overstepped his/her professional boundaries. It is recommended that paraprofessional roles and duties be assessed to ensure that paraprofessionals do not extend beyond their primary job description (Barrios ;amp; Perlas, 2010). If paraprofessionals are utilized, proper training and supervision are imperative. Both training and supervision should be conducted with counselors taking an active role in both.

Training methods could include individual one-on-one trainings, small group trainings, or an in-service training to the greater college community in order to differentiate the goals and responsibilities between counselors and paraprofessionals. Trainings and supervision should include clearly defined responsibilities and a counselor referral process. Identification badges, that include name and position, should be provided along with ethical and confidentiality regulations. Closing Crisis Intervention Counseling plays an important role and benefits many people in their time of need.

With the direction of society and the numerous budget cuts that are implemented each year, the affected organizations that provide these services must find the best way to survive. In hiring counseling center paraprofessionals the group takes some of the pressure off of the professionals and spread the work out more evenly. This move also saves the organization money on a tight budget. There are many issues that face the human service field and counseling in the future but one major is the funding. CCP’s can do a lot to solve this issue now and in the future as budgets for these services get cut even more.

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