309 W. New Indian Trail Court
Aurora, IL 60506

Tel: 630-966-4000 Fax: 630-844-9884

Crisis Line and Crisis Intervention Services

Agency Description:

The Association for Individual Development (AID) serves individuals with developmental, physical and/or mental disabilities, those who have suffered a trauma or are at risk. It was incorporated in 1961 by a small group of parents, serving 8 individuals with disabilities. Today, AID annually serves more than 5,100 individuals in 45 communities. It has a workforce of over 400 employees. AID provides quality services throughout the entire lifespan of an individual and utilizes a person-centered approach coupled with innovative practices to ensure the highest level of accomplishment. Our mission is to empower individuals with disabilities, mental illness and special needs to achieve independence and community inclusion.

Strength of Services:

  • Array of services in the areas of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and Alcohol and Substance Abuse
  • Comprehensive services -Prevention, Intervention and Rehabilitation Health Care Services
  • Both Outpatient and Residential Treatment Services
  • Both On and Off site services
  • Services for all age groups
  • State & Medicare approved "Community Mental Health Center"
  • Primary prevention and intervention services of Crisis Line of Fox Valley and Crisis Intervention Services to prevent more intensive ER or hospitalization services
  • Services provided with the philosophy of "resiliency focused", "empowering individuals", "recovery based" and on "evidence based practices"
  • Licensure
    • Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Division of Mental Health
  • Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse
  • Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Division of Rehabilitation Services
  • Division of Community Health and Prevention
    • Illinois Department of Public Health
    • Illinois Department of Health Care and Family Services
    • Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
    • Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
  • Accreditation
    • Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
    • American Association of Suicidology

Crisis Line Service Delivery Flow Chart

  1. Initial Call Received by AID (either a or b are done)
    1. Crisis De-escalated and/or no further immediate action required
      • Documentation
      • Follow Up with Client within 24 hrs by phone
      • Documentation
      • No Further Follow-Up end of contact
      • Consumer in need of further case management
    2. Crisis Intervention attempted consumer in need of face-to-face
      • Contact CIS and/or Emergency Service provider in consumer's service area
      • Documentation
      • Follow Up with consumer and/or Crisis Intervention Agency
      • Documentation
      • No Further Follow-Up end of contact
  2. Documentation
  3. On-going Administrative Duties: Data Collection Outcome Measures

Crisis Line counselors not only provide crisis assessment but follow a Five Step Crisis Intervention Model:

  1. Assessment: Active Listening, Psychosocial Factors, Past Coping Successes, evaluation of Current Supports.
  2. Engaging the client: Become a Source of Support to the consumer, Normalize the client's Feelings, Non-judgmental.
  3. Uncover Options: Refute the "no options" belief system, Utilize the three options available: Situational (People), Coping Mechanisms (Actions/Behaviors) and Constructive Thinking Patterns (Cognitive).
  4. Planning: Restore consumer's equilibrium by providing a plan that is: Concrete, Positive, Active vs. Passive, and Engages Supports.
  5. Obtaining Commitment: Consumer is Engaged in the Process, can Verbally Summarize their Plan, Expresses Relief (De-escalation), and is Willing to Involve Collaterals.

Appropriate referrals is provided to assist the caller with follow up care. These include referrals to: mental health outpatient services, substance abuse services, domestic violence, sexual assault, suicide prevention, pastoral, and finance. If it is determined that a face- to-face assessment and intervention is needed our Crisis Line dispatches a Crisis Intervention Services Counselor to do an on-site evaluation and intervention to prevent the need for more intensive treatment or hospitalization.

AID Service Descriptions

1.) Crisis Line of Fox Valley:

The Crisis Line of the Fox Valley is a 24-hour program that provides emergency intervention and dispatch, telephone counseling, information/referral and Sunshine (well-being) calls. The purpose of the Crisis Line is to de-escalate consumers, preventing the need for hospitalization. Appropriate follow-up care is provided or referred taking into account the consumers' resources and geographic location.

Services Include:
  • Information and Referral:
    Counselors provide information about and referral to all human service agencies in the area for needs such as mental health, financial, health care, legal problems, shelter, support groups, and more. Goal: to link individuals to services prior to escalation of symptoms.
  • Sunshine Calls:
    Counselors make calls to persons who may be elderly, isolated, disabled, or ill. Goal: contact and monitor individuals with known symptoms in order to avoid emergency room visits and/or hospitalization. (includes 16 part time, trained volunteer callers)
  • Emergency Services:
    Counselors are trained to help with such emergencies as attempted suicide, drug overdose, and psychotic episodes. Incoming calls/requests come from numerous entities: individuals, family members, law enforcement and other emergency personnel.
  • Telephone Counseling/Crisis Counseling:
    Counselors are trained to provide free, confidential counseling for any type of personal problem; alcohol, family, school, sex, loneliness, and depression. Goal: de-escalate and provide referrals to prevent the need for emergency intervention(s).
Consumers served:

The Crisis Line of the Fox Valley serves a varied population. Over 90% of incoming calls are from individuals seeking mental health intervention for themselves or a family member. As shown in the table below, requests for services has increased over 10% in the past year:

Fiscal Year of Program # Of Calls Received # Of Sunshine Calls Made  (CIS) Dispatch (Victims Services) Dispatch
2009 29,346 34,878 1,161 268
2010 33,632 32,232 1,212 291
2011 38,178 31,378 667 293
2012 (YTD - Feb. 29) 31,233 25,166 360 221

2.) Crisis Intervention Services:

Crisis Intervention Services consist of face-to-face interactions with consumers following a traumatic event, death or request for a psychiatric evaluation. AID currently provides these services in the majority of the pilot area (parts of Kane, DuPage, Will and Cook Counties) and would sub-contract with providers outside our current service area.

 Services include:
  • Crisis Intervention Services (CIS):
    Clinicians are dispatched, via the Crisis Line, to complete mental health assessments at area hospitals, homes and police departments for those at risk of self-harm. Goal: to prevent hospitalization by involving collaterals, psychiatrists and all available resources. A.I.D. offers intake appointments for CIS consumers within 24 hours in order to promptly link them to services outside the hospital setting
  • Victims Services:
    Advocates are dispatched, via the Crisis Line, to assist individuals who are victims of crime and/or trauma. Goal: to interact immediately following an incident in order to link victim to services outside the hospital setting and to prevent the development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
 Consumers served:

Crisis Intervention Services and Victims Services receives response requests from area hospitals, police and fire departments as well as citizens and businesses. Crisis Intervention Services is called to assess an individual who may be suicidal; Victims Services responds to traumatic incidents such as completed suicides, homicides and unexpected deaths and may interact with a single individual or numerous witnesses/family members.

Fiscal Year of the Program # of CIS Callouts # of CIS Consumers # of Victims Services Cases # of Victims Services Consumers
2009 2294 2139 268 1804
2010 1879 1616 291 2187
2011 1922 1646 293 1762
2012 (YTD - Feb. 29) 1485 1376 221 1273

Service Outcomes:

AID's outcome measures are gathered, analyzed and reviewed on a regular basis by the Quality Improvement Committee. Exclusively, in the area of mental health, AID has produced the following outcomes:

  • 75% of Mental Health Calls to the Crisis Line are successful in preventing the need for face-to-face interventions at an Emergency Department
  • Crisis Intervention Services very successful in achieving state hospital deflection to less intensive services (93%).
  • Consumers involved in AID Outpatient services- 91% stay out of the hospital.
  • 85% of consumers seen face to face in our Crisis Intervention Services do not present at the Emergency Department for Psychiatric reasons within one year
  • 100% of those suicidal consumers seen face to face do not go on to complete a suicide.

Testimonials from consumers served by AID's Crisis Line also demonstrate the effectiveness of crisis intervention in de-escalating consumers, minimizing the need for hospitalization:

  • A seriously mentally ill Crisis Line caller attributes her increased socialization to the encouragement and support that Crisis Line workers provided.
  • A parent reported that her daughter's 15 year old friend was very depressed and was contemplating suicide. The Crisis Line contacted the School Social Worker and (despite not knowing the student's last name) the school was able to identify the student and provide an intervention. The school contacted the Crisis Line to express their appreciation.
  • Positive Intervention: A suicidal caller later stated she experienced hope and relief by speaking to a worker. She was able to tell her story, rather than be rushed to referrals. The caller went from high to low lethality and avoided hospitalization.

Staffing and Training:

The Crisis Line of the Fox Valley is staffed by full time Counselors with a Bachelor Degree or above in the Human Services field. Training is an intensive ten week process that includes classroom and crisis line room training with a supervisor for a minimum of two weeks before an employee is allowed to accept incoming calls independently. Classroom instruction consists of instruction in: Suicide Prevention & Intervention, Crisis Intervention, Introduction to Mental Illness, Communication Skills, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault as well as attaining knowledge in available community resources. Testing is done on a weekly basis to measure the employee's comprehension of the material. De-escalation of the caller is the primary goal, and employees are instructed in active listening as well as asking open-ended questions in order to obtain the necessary information to best assist the client. Training is also provided to assist the employee in coping with the challenges of the job: Stress Management, Compassion Fatigue and Debriefing.

Crisis Intervention Services counselors are also required to have attained a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree (Masters preferred) with extensive experience in a clinical setting. Training is completed over a thirty day period consisting of classroom instruction in Crisis Intervention, to prevent the need for hospitalization, and Diagnostic Skills. The clinician is required to job-shadow for the thirty day period with responsibilities gradually being turned over to the new recruit. The employee must prove their competencies throughout the month to their supervisor before being allowed to work independently

Current staff includes:

  1. Joanne Furnas, MA QMHP Director of the program, holds a Masters Degree in Emergency and Disaster Management, Bachelors in Behavioral Science and an Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice. Ms. Furnas is a former emergency police dispatcher and law enforcement officer who graduated from the Illinois State Police Academy. Trained since 2005 in Crisis Intervention and Stress Management (CISM), Ms. Furnas also provides debriefings for area law enforcement and fire departments following critical incidents. She is also the Incident Commander in charge of Emergency Management between AID and the Kane County Health Department.
  2. Michelle McMullin MA, LCPC is the Director of Behavioral Health. She graduated from Wheaton Graduate School in 1988 with a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology. She worked for another agency for 15 years managing their Crisis programs prior to coming to AID. Michelle served for several years as a Red Cross volunteer and on the Northern Illinois Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team. She has taken part in relief efforts for the Plainfield and Lemont Tornados as well as plane crashes and other disasters. In Elgin Illinios, she started the Community Emergency Response Team that responded to requests from the community for assistance following a trauma. These included bank robberies, death of a co-worker and death of students in schools. Michelle has also worked with Dr. Jeff Mitchell on the relief efforts following Hurricane Andrew in Florida and has taught and trained staff in Critical Incident Stress throughout the Midwest.
  3. Sue Quillin RN, MS, CDDN is the Director of Health Services and Quality Assurance at AID. Sue has a Master's Degree in Nursing Administration from DePaul University, and certification as a Developmental Disabilities Nurse. In her present role, Sue is responsible for supervision of clinical health services at AID as well as the oversight for AID's quality initiatives, including facilitation of regulatory and accreditation surveys, and chairing the agency's Quality Improvement Committee. Sue's clinical expertise includes psychiatric nursing, developmental disabilities, and crisis intervention.
  4. Marja R. Huzevka, MSEd, BCBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is the Director of Behavioral Services with AID. She completed her education at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL. She has a strong background in the field of Behavior Analysis due to her training under well-known behaviorists and at IABA. Additionally, she has 30 years of experience working with adults and children in crises, with developmental disabilities, psychiatric diagnoses, and /or substance abuse, in various capacities, both in The Netherlands and the United States.
  5. Cheryl Brown, BA, Program Manager of the Crisis Line, educational background includes degrees in social sciences, education and business administration and masters classes in counseling/educational psychology. Her 18 years of experience at AID benefits the Crisis Line of the Fox Valley with her expertise in training, supervision, supportive counseling for staff members and managing the technological side of a 24 hour program.
  6. Danielle Joynes, QMHP, MS, L.P.C. has a Masters Degree in Community Counseling, specializing in providing Crisis Intervention to both adolescents and adults. Ms. Joynes manages a team of over 15 clinicians, and has an extensive background in intensive outpatient services for women with addiction, prenatal depression screenings and indigent populations facing basic need emergencies. CISM trained in both individual and group crisis intervention, Danielle has facilitated numerous debriefings in our service area to emergency personnel following a traumatic incident.
  7. Crisis Line MHP/QMHP: This position requires a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree (Masters preferred) in the Human Services field and 5 years experience. Excellent communication skills are essential in order to assess, counsel and, most often, de-escalate a caller to prevent the need for further intervention(s).
  8. Crisis Intervention Services MHP/QMHP: This position requires a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree (Masters preferred) in the Human Services field and 5 years experience in a clinical setting. Requires the ability to work under stressful conditions to properly assess a consumer's mental health status to ensure accurate and thorough assessments and the capability to intervene in times of crisis in order to provide alternatives to more intensive treatment and/or hospitalizations.

Managerial Flow Chart for Crisis Services

Joanne Furnas -Director

Report to the Director:

  • Cheryl Brown - Crisis Line
  • Danielle Joynes - Crisis Intervention Services Program and Manager Program