Special Populations Work - Crisis Prevention

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Background

This field is very broad and encompasses anyone who works with populations in crisis (drug and alcohol abuse, mental health emergencies, rape or sexual violence, domestic violence, homelessness, child abuse or maltreatment, etc.) An example of a specific career is a crisis hotline worker. However, the majority of human service careers allow you to focus your area of expertise on one or a few populations in need.

Average Salaries for this field - Usually, with a bachelor’s degree in this field, you would be paid hourly. With more advanced education in social work, public health or community psychology, salaries and job duties increase (examples include crisis intervention counseling).

What classes at GVSU may help in the field of Crisis Work and Prevention? Discuss with your advisor which courses among those on this list, along with other courses not listed here, would best serve your career goals.

     1. PSY 302 – Psychology of Adjustment
     2. PSY 303 – Psychopathology
     3. PSY 310 – Behavior Modification
     4. PSY 324 – Developmental Psychopathology
     5. PSY 326 – Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (prevention & intervention)

What experiences outside of class could I explore?
     1. Work with communities in a volunteer capacity
     2. Internships like those through YWCA – West Central Michigan: domestic violence, housing services, and crisis counseling for those in need
     3. Become certified in crisis prevention – many opportunities online or in the community

picture of crisis prevention work brain

What skills would be helpful to have in this field? Professional verbal and written communication skills, organization, attention to detail, ability to maintain confidentiality, to be flexible to work on multiple tasks efficiently are all important skills to maintain. Compassion and listening skills are also essential.

Employer Possibilities – Examples include “Family Center Monitor” with the Salvation Army, crisis hotline workers, and outreach coordinator for mental health organizations focused on prevention.