CITY OF PHILADELPHIA PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT
SUICIDE AND CRISIS INTERVENTION COUNSELOR
This is mental health work providing counseling, referral and information services to individuals having mental,
emotional and social problems including suicidal behavior. Work involves frequent telephone contact with patients, social
service agencies and mental health agencies and providing consultative and advisory services to mental health practitioners
and the public in regard to suicidal and emotional crises. Significant aspects of the work include providing emergency
counseling to individuals contemplating or in the process of committing suicide or experiencing emotional crisis, and
providing immediate alternatives or commitment service for them. Work is performed under the general supervision of
a technical superior.
ALLOCATING FACTORS: (The following conditions must be met for a position to be approved for this class.)
- The position must perform the work in the Health Department.
- The position must provide counselling and emergency assistance to individuals experiencing a suicidal or emotional
TYPICAL EXAMPLES OF WORK (ILLUSTRATIVE ONLY)
- Receives emergency assistance telephone calls from individuals experiencing a suicidal or emotional crisis;
evaluates extent of crisis and provides immediate counseling and service.
- Contacts police, hospitals, relatives, friends and mental health centers to secure transportation, or medical or
psychiatric attention for individuals experiencing a severe mental crisis.
- Interviews referrals and clients who walk into the office requesting help; provides counseling and support to
clients as needed until long term care can be assumed by the appropriate agencies.
- Contacts individuals who have attempted suicide to evaluate their situation; assists them in formulating appropriate
plans to alleviate their problems and if necessary, makes referrals for additional help.
- Counsels families in which someone has committed suicide and makes referrals for further professional help if
- Approves requests for involuntary evaluations and commitments for individuals who show signs of mental illness
or present a danger to themselves or others.
- Investigates problems and complaints involving service received by clients in the mental health system; interprets
agency policy and procedural requirements for mental health practitioners.
- Advises clients, social workers, psychiatrists and others on the provisions of the Mental Health and Mental
Retardation Act, particularly those sections pertaining to commitment procedures.
- Approves requests for mental health centers for deficit funding for hospitalization for patients without coverage.
- Gathers and records clinical and research data required to develop factual knowledge essential to an understanding
of suicide and its prevention; maintains logs and completes patient contact forms.
- Performs related work as required.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- the functions and resources of public and private social, medical and mental health agencies.
- the theories, principles and techniques of working with people with several emotional, mental and social
- the causes of social maladjustment and other social factors which result in the need for placement or
- the suicide problem and its effect on the family and community.
- recognize symptoms of emotional illness in general.
- assess and interpret an individual's emotional and social problem situation and to make a sound evaluation and
recommendation for a solution.
- function under pressure and in stress situations.
- assemble, evaluate and interpret pertinent data, and make sound recommendations based upon such information.
- present ideas effectively both orally and in writing.
- establish and maintain effective working relationships with individuals with emotional, mental and social
problems, their families and other involved persons and community agencies.
- determine the need for commitment of individuals.
MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE
(The following statement represents the minimum training
and experience standards which will be used to admit or reject applicants for tests. Applications submitted by candidates
for this class will be reviewed based on training and experience requirements as approved on 4/81.)
- Completion of a bachelor's degree program at an accredited college or university with major course work in
psychology, sociology, related social sciences, or nursing.
- One year of experience counseling individuals with emotional or social problems in a mental health setting.
Or any equivalent combination of education and experience which has included completion of a bachelor's degree
program as an educational minimum.
- One year of suicide intervention counseling experience.
PHYSICAL AND MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS
- Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required of a position in this class.
PAY RANGE: EP16
Class Established: 4/1968
Latest Spec. Revision:
CSC - 2/1996 ; Ad Board - 5/1996
END OF JOB CLASS SPECIFICATION - 5E03