Crisis Intervention & De-escalation

two people walking down a city street

In this session, presenters will provide an introduction to crisis management and strategies for effective de-escalation of clients experiencing acute mental health distress. Content will address common physical, psychological, and environmental factors precipitating the onset of crisis and provide intervention strategies for intervening at various points along the crisis wave. Attendees will be invited to reflect on difficult experiences in the workplace and understand the importance of self-awareness and self-reflection when facing clients in crisis. Facilitators will also provide resources for dealing with crisis scenarios beyond the scope of the agency’s abilities.


12:45-1:00 PM | Virtual training room opens 
1:00-1:10 PM | Welcome, introductions, check-in activity 
1:10-1:40 PM | The what & why of crisis 
1:40-2:05 PM | Preparing ourselves to manage crises 
2:05-2:15 PM | Break 
2:15-2:45 PM | The crisis wave & de-escalation 
2:45-3:00 PM | Endings & follow-up 
3:00-3:15 PM | Closing remarks, Q&A

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the Thoughts-Feelings-Actions cycle
  • Identify precipitating factors to the onset of crises
  • Differentiate de-escalation/intervention strategies for stages on the crisis wave

Target Audience: Social service providers and helping professionals with direct client contact, and their supervisors.
Social Work Practice Level: This course is appropriate for beginner and intermediate BSW/ MSW learners. 
Course Delivery Format: Live webinar
Interactivity: This course will offer 15 minutes of Q&A time, as well as real-time polling, and group discussion prompts.
Social Work Continuing Education Credit: 2 CE Credits*
Fees: $25 general registration; additional $5 for registration with social work CE credit.

Registration includes access to the live event and recording, PDF of slides, and relevant training tip sheets/resources.

Course Completion Requirements: Attendees must attend the entirety of the virtual session with system video and audio enabled to participate, and respond to all poll questions and activities. Certificates will be distributed to participants via email within two weeks of the course’s conclusion. Attendees must complete a course evaluation within 48 hours via Google Forms to receive a certificate. Course evaluation links will be distributed during the session and via email immediately following the training. Individuals must attend the live webinar in order to receive a certificate of completion.

System Requirements: Webinar participants must have to access to a computer, tablet, or smart phone with high speed Internet, microphone, speakers, and a (free) Zoom video conferencing account.

Session Facilitators

Ryan Villagran, LSW
Training Specialist
Pathways to Housing PA

Ryan Villagran, MSW, LSW (they/them), joined Housing First University in June 2021 as a Training Specialist. Ryan holds a Master of Social Work from Temple University with a concentration in Communities & Policy. Their clinical background includes delivering psychiatric rehabilitation services in the mental health recovery model at a Community Integrated Recovery Center. Ryan also developed and coordinated a training program in a university setting for social workers serving transitional-aged youth and later taught a Human Behavior in the Social Environment course for graduate social work students. Ryan believes in the power of our collective imagination to dream of a better future centered around those on the margins.


Caitlin Mobley, LCSW
Outreach Manager
Pathways to Housing PA

Caitlin Mobley, MSW, LCSW (she/her), joined Pathways to Housing PA as an Assistant Team Leader in 2019, transitioned to Team Leader in 2020, and in 2021 became the agency’s Outreach Manager. In this role, Caitlin coordinates with Philadelphia's Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and various city agencies to connect individuals experiencing homelessness with Pathways to Housing PA. Prior to this, Caitlin worked in Permanent Supportive Housing and at a domestic violence shelter in New York City. Caitlin has witnessed the success of Housing First practice in action and is a firm believer that the model strongly contributes to the greater mission of ending homelessness. She received her Master of Social Work from Fordham University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York.

ACE approval statement: Housing First University: a program of Pathways to Housing PA, provider #1759, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 01/12/2022 - 01/12/2025. Social workers completing this course receive 2 clinical continuing education credits.

*Housing First University, a program of Pathways to Housing PA, can provide continuing education credits to licensed social workers in 48 of the 50 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces. Due to current regulations, CE credits cannot be offered to social workers in the states of New Jersey or New York. If you are not a Licensed Social Worker, please check with your board of accreditation to ensure this training meets your licensing needs.

To request an accessibility accommodation, please email:

For questions or comments, please contact: 
Ryan Villagran, LSW 
Continuing Education Director 
Housing First University, a program of Pathways to Housing PA (215) 390-1500, ext. 1430