988 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) Call Specialist

The Mental Health Association in New Jersey is a statewide non-profit organization that strives for children and adults to achieve victory over mental health and substance use disorders through advocacy, education, training, and services.

The vision of the MHANJ is a statewide community in which people with behavioral health disorders can achieve full potential, free from stigma and other barriers to care and recovery.

Mental Health Association in New Jersey
NJMentalHealthCares Helpline

Job Description

988 (NJ Suicide Prevention Lifeline) Call Specialist – FT

Status: exempt

Reports to: Call Center Coordinator

Class: professional

General Summary:

Performs a variety of technical and professional work associated with handling calls from individuals in emotional distress or suicidal crisis throughout NJ. This includes providing behavioral health and human service information and referral to the public. This position has direct contact with inquirers and requires knowledge and understanding of the behavioral health and human service delivery systems. This position also requires the ability to communicate effectively and tactfully with diverse and multi-cultural individuals, be non-judgmental, and respectful of the confidential nature of the job.

Duties & Responsibilities:

1. Appropriately provide support to callers, including suicide assessment and response as indicated

2. Provide information and referral to inquirer in response to a direct request for such information.

3. Provide support to call specialists handling suicide calls.

4. Referral process consists of assessing the needs of the inquirer, identifying appropriate resources, and providing enough information about resources to help inquirer make an informed decision.

5. Advocacy to ensure inquirer receives the services to which they are entitled.

6. Offer crisis intervention in endangerment situations.

7. Follow up contacts with inquirer.

8. Thorough documentation of contact on all 988 (NJSPL) inquiries.

9. Adhere to ethical standards outlined by Agency and professional board if applicable.

10. Maintenance of professional license and continuing education credits, if applicable.

11. Other duties as assigned by supervisor.

Skills and Abilities:

1. Active listening and interviewing skills

2. Ability to conduct approved suicide assessment

3. Voluntary and Involuntary hospitalization criteria and procedures

4. Analytical and Problem-Solving skills

5. Capacity to perform tasks effectively under stressful situations.

6. Ability to work with people in great need.

7. Data entry from telephone interview (inquirer data collection)

8. Ability to work independently

9. Ability to work collaboratively on projects.

10. Ability to work calmly and effectively in emotionally intense environment.

11. Clear, concise and effective written and verbal communication.

12. Clinical note writing skills

13. Relate and interact successfully with persons of various social, cultural, economic,

and educational backgrounds.

14. Deal with people in a manner that shows sensitivity, tact and professionalism.

15. Ability to problem solve multifaceted difficulties.


1. Principles of crisis management

2. Suicide/Homicide risk assessment including lethality assessment, use of assessment tools and related legal issues.

3. Principles and techniques of collecting and entering data

4. Functional knowledge of computer applications including Microsoft applications and internet. Knowledge of intake/record-keeping programs.

5. Strong communication, organization and analytical skills.

6. Broad knowledge of behavioral health terminology and system.

7. Crisis, Screening and Suicide prevention work experience highly desirable

****COVID-19 Policy: Interested candidates must be fully vaccinated (1st & 2nd doses) prior to being considered for this position. Masks are required to be worn in our office space.


Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college and/or lived experience as a mental health peer. 1 year experience in crisis, suicide or mental health services desirable.

EEO Statement:

As an EOE employer, Mental Health Association in New Jersey is committed to providing all applicants and employees with equal access to employment opportunities, regardless of sex, race, age, color, national origin, disability, religion, marital status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: From $51,000.00 per year


  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement plan
  • Vision insurance


  • 8 hour shift
  • Day shift
  • Monday to Friday
  • Night shift

COVID-19 considerations:
**COVID-19 Policy: Interested candidates must be fully vaccinated (1st & 2nd doses) prior to being considered for this position. Masks are required to be worn in our office space.

Application Question(s):

  • Are you fully vaccinated against COVID-19?
  • Do you hold any professional licensure or certifications?


  • crisis intervention or screening or mental health services: 1 year (Preferred)


  • Any other language (Preferred)

Work Location: One location

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