Step 2 Assessment

Crisis Response Education and Resources



The purpose of this section is to support the professional development of mental health crisis responders and encourage CAMFT members interested in crisis response and disaster mental health to join the CAMFT Community Crisis Response Professional Development Group, access the CAMFT EBSCOhost service, join one or more professional organizations, consider certification in crisis response, and become familiar with crisis response ethical issues.

CAMFT Community Crisis Response Professional Development Group

CAMFT members are urged to join the CAMFT Community Crisis Response Professional Development Group to communicate with other likeminded members and receive training announcements and information notices. Both CAMFT members and non-members can select the RESOURCES tab on this page to access additional professional development information and training opportunities.

Members of the Crisis Response Professional Development Group exchange information for application at the local, state, and national levels. Beginners will get tips for getting prepared for incidents and how to become engaged locally. Veteran responders can share their experience, answer questions, and offer support. We will share lessons learned and promote self-care.

Join the Crisis Response Professional Development Group by selecting this link to the CAMFT Community webpage. Here you will find a Step-by-step Guide and an Activity Guide to familiarize yourself with the CAMFT Community. You will be able to find community members quickly, join the Crisis Response Professional Development Group and other groups of interest, discuss topics in Forums, and use the Library to find documents, share tools, and gain valuable resources. Select the following to go directly the Crisis Response Professional Development Group webpage.


EBSCOHostAnother professional development resource for CAMFT members is free access to EBSCOhost, which supplies an online research service with 375 full-text databases, a collection of 600,000-plus ebooks, subject indexes, point-of-care medical references, and an array of historical digital archives. CAMFT members are urged to conduct searches in areas of interest, but especially for crisis response research findings. Members also have access to the CAMFT Library of Articles culled from the Collection. Go to CAMFT EBSCOhost webpage.

  Crisis Response Professional Organizations

Here is a listing of recognized professional organizations that support professional development in crisis response and disaster metal health and provide mental health intervention service to individuals and communities. We invite you to join one or more of these organizations to support your professional development in this field.

American Academay of ExpertsAmerican Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (AATSS) collaborates with the National Center for Crisis Management to increase awareness of effects of traumatic events and crisis situations on human functioning, enable professionals to look beyond physical and safety needs and also address emergent psychological needs, improve the quality of support and intervention, establish meaningful standards among professionals across disciplines, provide information and training, and to assist victims to become survivors and then thrivers.

Association of Traumatic Stress SpecialistsAssociation of Traumatic Stress Specialists (ATSS) organizes, educates and professionally certifies its worldwide membership in order to assist those affected by trauma. ATSS provides and promotes opportunities for training and education in the field of traumatic stress, and professionally recognizes evidence of service, education and experience by those individuals engaged in trauma treatment, services and response.

icisfInternational Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc. (ICISF) provides leadership, education, training, consultation, and support services in comprehensive crisis intervention and disaster behavioral health services to the emergency response professions, other organizations, and communities worldwide.

Green CrossGreen Cross Academy of Traumatology (GCAT) is an international, humanitarian assistance organization, non-profit corporation comprised of trained traumatologists and compassion fatigue service providers. Most are licensed mental health professionals; all are oriented to helping people in crisis following traumatic events.

NOVANational Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) was founded in 1975 and is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The values of NOVA are Compassion: We care about and respond to the plight of people and one another, Accountability: Excellence in our work and justice in our cause means we honor our commitments, Collaboration: Teamwork at every level is crucial to the work we do, and Passion: We are driven by the hope that what we do makes a difference.

Crisis Response Certification   

The National Center for Crisis Management® in collaboration with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress® offers members the opportunity to achieve certification in 18 traumatic stress and crisis management specialty areas.

  Certifications in Traumatic Stress Specialties


Certifications in Crisis Management Specialties


The Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists offers members an opportunity to gain professional recognition (certification) within a trauma specialty in any of the following three (3) recognized certifications:

  • The Certified Trauma Responder (CTR) for those who provide immediate trauma intervention through critical incident stress response, debriefing, crisis and disaster management, peer counseling, disaster and trauma response, group crisis intervention, first response interventions and follow up, etc.
  • The Certified Trauma Services Specialist (CTSS) for those who provide immediate trauma intervention, crisis support, advocacy, crisis intervention, death notification, victim/survivor assistance and services for a variety of traumatized populations. This designation also recognizes treatment specialists who focus on more short term treatment and interventions.
  • The Certified Trauma Specialist (CTS) is a designation for counselors, clinicians, and treatment specialists who provide longer-term individual, group, and/or family counseling, therapy, or support for trauma survivors either as a specialty or within their practice.

Certificate of Specialized Training (COST) in Critical Incident Stress Management is offered by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation to document the completion of a standardized curriculum in crisis intervention. There are currently seven specific, not mutually exclusive, Certificates of Specialized Training that may be awarded upon provision of appropriate documentation showing completion of the required courses:

  1. Emergency Services
  2. Healthcare Crisis Management and Staff Support
  3. Mass Disasters and Terrorism
  4. Schools and Children Crisis Response
  5. Spiritual Care in Crisis Intervention
  6. Substance Abuse Crisis Response
  7. Workplace & Industrial Applications.

The Certificate of Specialized Training attests to the completion of a standardized curriculum in Crisis Intervention. See COST Program Overview.

The Green Cross Academy of Traumatology (GCAT) Commission on Certification and Accreditation (COCA) sanctions four certifications to qualified professionals and accredits programs teaching approved courses leading to certification. With certification comes membership in the Academy and an opportunity to become part of the Green Cross Assistance Program to respond to traumatic events. All members are expected to abide by the high Standards of Practice for Traumatologists and the high Standards of Self Care for Traumatologists. These Standards are part of each of the Academy's Certifications.

  • Compassion Fatigue Educator (CFE) Certification is earned by those who complete the Compassion Fatigue Educator course of training or equivalent training and experiences associated with the theory and research, assessment, and prevention of work-related compassion fatigue. The certification is for those who are primarily interested in teaching and guiding colleagues about self-care, developing and managing a self-care plan, and effective compassion fatigue stress management.
  • Compassion Fatigue Therapist (CFT) Certification is earned by those who complete the Compassion Fatigue Educator Certification and a program of study covering the assessment and treatment of secondary traumatic stress reactions (PTSD), the MASTERS transformative process, and the competencies for designing a compassion fatigue prevention program in a given work context.
  • Certified Traumatologist (CT) Certification is earned by those who complete the Field Traumatologist Certification and a program of study covering three other areas of competence: Assessment and Diagnosis, Treatment Competency, Contextual Applications, and Self Care, in addition to clinical experience.
  • Field Traumatologist (FT) Certification is earned by those who complete the Field Traumatologist course of training or equivalent training and experiences associated with crisis intervention, working with Incident Command structures, and other knowledge to prepare them to work with survivors of disasters -- both human and natural.

NOVA Crisis Responder Credentialing Program (NCRCP) is designed to promote continuing skill development, education and experience for trained crisis responders through NOVA’s Crisis Response Training. The NCRCP is voluntary and open to any individuals who provide crisis response services in the aftermath of a traumatic event. The intent is to promote continued training, development, and skill-building in this field. Credentialing in the field of crisis response is valuable because:

  • It promotes best practices in this area of psychological first aid
  • It enhances recognition and credibility in crisis response arena
  • It facilitates continuing skill-building development and education
  • It reinforces a network of crisis responders, which can provide mutual aid
  • NCRCP, as a voluntary, national credentialing body for Crisis Responders and providers of crisis response services, makes every effort to ensure that Applicants meet the minimum standards for the Crisis Responder credential.

Crisis Response Ethical Considerations

The California Mental-behavioral Health Disaster Framework contains five Core Competencies essential for effective disaster mental health services. The five competencies are based upon adherence to performance within one’s scope of practice (e.g., functional role; knowledge, skill, authority; continuing education; ethics; confidentiality, licensure, certification) with respect to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and/or at the population level. To be competent, disaster mental health providers should 1. Understand key terms and concepts related to disaster mental/psychosocial/behavioral health preparedness and response, 2. Communicate effectively, 3. Assess the need for and type of intervention (if any), 4. Formulate and implement an action plan, and 5. Demonstrate knowledge of peer-care and self-care techniques.

The Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists (ATSS) Code of Ethics is a framework to guide the actions of its members. It consists of a mission statement, declaration of values, list of basic principles and standards of practice, and several commitments to superior quality of service.

Ethics For Traumatologists: A Course for Clinicians, Responders, Researchers, Educators and Consultants in the Trauma Field is offered by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. It is a two-day course intended to help persons working in all areas of the field of trauma to formulate their own working ethical principles, within frameworks of appropriate codes, standards of practice and competence, and principles of intervention. Using a workbook approach, participants will have the opportunity to discuss issues, develop mission statements, and examine their own personal/professional value systems and standards.

Now that you’ve considered your professional development, you’re ready to obtain the required training for federal deployment by selecting STEP 3 – FEMA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE.