• Crisis Intervention and Ethical Dilemmas for Phone Line Staff
The deadline for this training has been extended. Thank you to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for its continued support.


Crisis Intervention and Ethical Dilemmas for Phone Line Staff

Developed June 2021

3 CEs

This training is approved for CE for social workers, counselors, and marriage and family therapists in the state of Ohio. This training is approved for chemical dependency counselors in domain C2 and prevention professionals in domain P6.

Level of Course | 200 Intermediate

When someone calls a help line for support, they often have needs that fall into the following categories: a need for support and connection with another human being; a need for emotional ventilation; a need for specific information and/or resources; a need for immediate help to cope with a crisis; a need for safety and wellbeing. To be effective in meeting a diversity of caller needs, phone line workers require multiple skillsets. This training focuses on identifying and describing how to refine basic skills of crisis intervention including: the skillset of being able to remain grounded and calm on the phone lines despite the energy level of the caller; the ability to quickly establish rapport; the ability to quickly assess what the callers immediate needs or wants are that had them call the help line in the first place; the ability to partner with callers to explore alternatives and problem solutions; the ability to safety plan; and the ability to critical analyze ethical dilemmas that may arise in their work on the phone lines. Participants will leave this training with refined knowledge and an opportunity to develop skills for effective phone line work.

This course is constructed as reading-based and noninteractive.


  1. Participants will be able to describe common elements of crisis intervention models that can inform their role providing crisis support on the phone lines.
  2. Participants will be able to identify strategies and skills they can continue to develop to effectively support individuals dealing with specific crisis themes.
  3. Participants will be able to use the Reamer Model of Ethical Decision making to work through ethical dilemma scenarios that could happen while serving someone in crisis on the phone lines.

Developed by Lois Marie Clay Stepney, MSW, LISW-S

Professor, College of Social Work, OSU

Lois Marie Clay Stepney, MSW, LISW-S is a passionate adult educator who has taught social work practice courses in the College of Social Work at the Ohio State University for the past 18 years. Ms. Stepney has utilized her social work skills in the Columbus, OH community working primarily with children, adolescents and their adult caregivers, for most of her 25 years in the profession. She has clinical and administrative supervisory experience. Ms. Stepney is passionate about addressing the promotion of resilience and emotional wellbeing in helping professionals.

Evaluations will be immediately downloadable and must be completed to receive CE credits. Certificates will be available to download once the once the evaluation is received.

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please contact us at cswce@osu.edu should you need further assistance.



Register Here

Generously funded by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

The Ohio State University, College of Social Work is an approved provider for the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist (CSWMFT) Board. Provider Number: RCST111747

The Ohio State University College of Social Work is an approved provider for The Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board. Provider Number: 50-24068