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Non-Medical Crisis Intervention: Getting Started

The Crisis Intervention team of PWSA (USA) has designed this section to help you respond effectively to non-medical crisis situations.

A non-medical crisis situation can include a legal, behavioral, school, or placement crisis. It can also include having difficulty obtaining needed benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid.

Some crisis situations require more significant intervention. If that is the case, please contact us to talk with a Crisis Counselor by calling 1-800-926-4797 or e-mailing  Non-medical crisis assistance is available Monday –Friday 10AM-5PM EST

Please click on any of the links below to learn more about resources to help you prevent or respond to a specific crisis situation.


2010 Edition of Social Security's Redbook.  The 2010 edition of the Red Book, which serves as a general reference source about employment related provisions of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs is now available in English for review and download at 

When people are in crisis, one of the first steps is to give them an opportunity to fully express themselves. Sensitive listening, hearing, and understanding are essential at this point. Being heard and understood helps ground people in crises, helps to calm them in the midst of turmoil, and enables them to think more clearly and make better decisions. Although a person’s crisis is not likely to be resolved by one or two contacts with a helper, such contacts can pave the way for being open to receiving help later. If the person in crisis does not feel understood and accepted, he or she may lose hope of ‘returning to normal’ and may not seek help in the future. Genuine support, caring and non-possessive warmth can go a long way in building bridges that can motivate people to do something to work through and resolve a crisis. Communicating a deep sense of understanding should always precede other more problem-solving interventions. People in trouble do not need false reassurances that “everything will be all right.” Yet … contact with a caring person can do much to bring about healing.

-From “Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy” by Gerald Corey.


 edited: 02/09/2012

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