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Crisis Training Institute

The Crisis Training Institute (CTI) of UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital provides a wide range of programs and consulting services. Our programs focus on:

  • Crisis prevention, intervention, and postvention (Comprehensive Crisis Management)
  • Stress management (Critical Incident Stress Management)
  • Suicide intervention (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training)

These programs and services help individuals across a wide variety of disciplines perform effectively in crisis-related or potentially violent situations. Our programs are currently being used in many settings, including mental and behavioral health services, schools, medical facilities, substance use treatments, nursing homes, group homes, security organizations, response teams, and long-term treatment facilities.

Crisis Training Institute programs help to:

  • Increase confidence and intervention skills in crisis situations
  • Maximize team effectiveness and cohesion in the midst of a crisis
  • Minimize the impact of traumatic stress on individuals involved in a crisis response
  • Understand the impact of trauma and the importance of providing trauma-informed care
  • Identify key factors in the safe resolution of crisis situations
  • Assist staff in the use of stress appraisal to identify ways to cope with stressful situations
  • Enhance suicide awareness and provide intervention skills to work more effectively with an individual at risk for suicide

Our Experts

Our professional team members are experienced in the fields of mental health, crisis management, education, drug and alcohol, and behavioral health outreach. The team’s collective background includes clinical management and education, as well as psychiatric milieu management, intellectual disabilities, behavioral health response, and crisis experiences in phone, mobile, walk-in, and residential.

Jeffrey D. Magill, MS

Mr. Magill is manager of clinical services at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, overseeing the Crisis Training Institute, emergency preparedness, and the As Soon As Possible (ASAP) staff support team. For more than 25 years, Mr. Magill has responded to crisis situations, providing behavioral health support in times of need to individuals in various settings, including health care facilities, businesses, schools, and in the community.

Mr. Magill manages operations of UPMC Western Psychiatric's ASAP staff support team. He has experience developing and teaching training programs in crisis management, suicide prevention and assessment, emergency preparedness, and behavioral health response to crisis situations.

Mr. Magill co-authored the “Comprehensive Crisis Management” (CCM) program and is an approved instructor for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in “Assisting Individuals in Crisis and the Group Crisis Intervention Training” classes.

Daniel Lichok

Mr. Lichok is program manager for the Crisis Training Institute and co-coordinator of the ASAP staff support team at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. Prior to working for UPMC Western Psychiatric, Mr. Lichok worked in direct care for individuals with intellectual disabilities, wrap-around services, and caseworker services. Prior to becoming a crisis trainer, he was a clinician at resolve Crisis Services. During his time at resolve, Mr. Lichok worked in the phone, mobile, and walk-in departments and had the opportunity to provide training on many occasions to staff Western and other mental health facilities.

Mr. Lichok co-authored the “Comprehensive Crisis Management” (CCM) program where he is a master trainer, is a master trainer for Livingworks in Applied Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), and is an approved instructor for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in “Assisting Individuals in Crisis and Group Crisis Intervention Training” classes.

Mollie Moreci

Ms. Moreci is a crisis trainer for the Crisis Training Institute, part of UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. She has dedicated much of her life, professionally and in an extracurricular capacity, to working with individuals with varying specialized needs. She earned her bachelor's degree from The College of Wooster, with a focus in sociology and psychology. Prior to joining the Crisis Training Institute she taught comprehensive crisis management trainings as part of her full-time responsibilities with The Conroy Merck Intensive Treatment and The Merck Summer Intensive Treatment Programs through UPMC Western Psychiatric. During her eight years with Merck, Ms. Moreci worked in partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools as a clinician in a classroom setting. The classrooms double as partial treatment for students, ages 5-21, with dual diagnoses of developmental disorders and significant behavioral issues. Ms. Moreci brings a thoughtful and holistic approach to working with the individuals she encounters in her professional role. As a clinician she stresses the importance of utilizing the least-restrictive intervention model, which the CCM program embodies.

Currently, Ms. Moreci is a trainer for the Comprehensive Crisis Management Program (CCM) and is trained in the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST) Training. She is eager to share the concepts and methods of CCM training and its least-restrictive intervention model with other professionals, as they have been an invaluable facet of her work as a clinician, teacher, and caretaker in community, in-home, clinical, residential, extracurricular, and school environments; both domestic and international.

Jacqueline Nicolay

Ms. Nicolay is a senior crisis trainer for the Crisis Training Institute at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. She started at UPMC Western Psychiatric in 2007 as a student nursing assistant.

In 2009, Ms. Nicolay became a milieu therapist at Western. As a resource staff, she had the opportunity to work on each inpatient unit in the hospital. This provided her with experience working with a wide variety of diagnosis and age groups in the hospital.

As a resource staff, Ms. Nicolay also assisted in nursing administration as requested. She was able to gain experience on the administrative side of Western, which led her to becoming a crisis trainer for the CCM program in 2012. In addition, she has since become a CPR instructor and Stop the Bleed instructor as well.

In June of 2016, Ms. Nicolay became a full time Crisis Trainer for Western. She also had the privilege of being trained as part of the UPMC ASAP Support Team/CISM team.

Ms. Nicolay is a lead in Advanced Response Training at Western and takes great pride in training fellow staff members to be patient advocates and how to remain safe in their line of work with the use of least restrictive interventions.

On occasion Ms. Nicolay gets the privilege of moonlighting on the inpatient units to continue to practice her clinical skills and build a greater rapport with staff and patients at Western.

Joseph Shirey

Joseph Shirey is a crisis trainer for the Crisis Training Institute at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. He earned his bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology.

Upon graduation, Mr. Shirey worked at Mercy Behavioral Health in a residential setting for two years, working with individuals with a schizophrenia diagnosis.

In 2014, Mr. Shirey joined UPMC Western Psychiatric as a milieu therapist for the John Merck Program, working with individuals on the autism spectrum.

Mr. Shirey is passionate about helping those with mental health diagnosis and intellectual disabilities.  He became interested in crisis training after becoming a preceptor and helping new hires develop their clinical skills and incorporating least restrictive interventions into their repertoire.  

Timothy Birge

Image of Tim Birge.

Timothy Birge is a crisis trainer for the Crisis Training Institute at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. Mr. Birge received his bachelor's degree from West Virginia University, majoring in psychology and minoring in communications. While completing his degree, Mr. Birge provided counseling and direct care services to teens and adolescents through Monongalia County Youth Services of West Virginia.

Before becoming a trainer at the Crisis Training Institute, Mr. Birge trained in comprehensive crisis management at the Brighton Rehab and Wellness Center LTSR, where he worked for 12 years as a mental health technician for residential behavioral health patients. Mr. Birge provided individual counseling, direct care, and facilitated groups for individuals 18 and older experiencing severe mental illnesses and requiring additional support to transition from inpatient psychiatric hospitalization to the community.

In addition to his work at Brighton Rehab and Wellness, Mr. Birge served as a crisis clinician for UPMC Beaver County Crisis Intervention Services for 13 years. Mr. Birge supported crisis services including phone calls, walk-in care, and mobile evaluations. He additionally served as a county mental health delegate, where he authorized involuntary psychiatric evaluations to individuals struggling with immediate life-threatening behavioral needs.

Mr. Birge was a drug and alcohol counselor for Penn Pavilion/Fenton Security in New Brighton, PA, where he provided inpatient drug and alcohol use recovery services to PA Department of Corrections inmates and PA state parolees.

Mr. Birge is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and currently serves the CISM teams in both Beaver County and Butler County. He is a certified Basic Life Skills (BLS) instructor, first aid Instructor, and PA Disaster Crisis Outreach and Referral (DCORT) professional. Mr. Birge has also completed Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST) Training.

Mr. Birge has had the opportunity not only to teach Comprehensive Crisis Management (CCM) to his colleagues but has direct experience in using its techniques and approaches when providing care and promoting partnership and collaboration. He is excited to share his experience and train others in the methods of the CCM program that have been so beneficial to him.

Our Track Record

Our programs have been implemented at UPMC Hospital, including UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, and at other hospitals including Children’s Hospital of Orange County, The Watson Institute, Indiana Regional Medical Center, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Penn Highlands Health System, Pine Richland School District, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Clairton City School District, and South Fayette School District, along with many more.

Crisis Training Institute

To learn more about our programs or to schedule a consultation, please call 412-589-6302.

Crisis Training Institute programs include: