Responding to People with Mental Disorders

An 8.0 hour comprehensive introductory to intermediate clinical “street” course for First Responders, medical and social service professionals in the basic, but problematic mental health disorders most commonly experienced in the field. This course will provide the field responder with information, explanations, basic assessment tools and response protocols for the following mental health disorders.

Schizophrenia has proven to be one of the most dangerous types of mental disorders for first responders, and more specifically, police officers on a daily basis in the community. Officers who routinely respond to calls regarding people with Schizophrenia in the past have been ill-equipped to handle people with this condition. By learning specific Crisis Intervention techniques the officers will learn how to more readily identify the signs and symptoms of Schizophrenia, but also how to defuse people in crisis who have Schizophrenia.

Bipolar Disorder:
Bipolar Disorder presents a very unique degree of safety concerns for first responders, but especially police officers. People who present in what is termed, “Manic Phase” are extremely dangerous to police officers due to the nature of the symptoms of the illness. Officers will learn to identify specific behaviors that are unique to people who may have Bipolar Disorder and how to defuse those individuals. Unlike Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder can be almost anyone in the community and people who have this disorder can be extremely violent. Often people with this disease are mistaken for people who are addicted to Methamphetamine and the likeness will be described in detail during the course.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
PTSD has become synonymous with people serving in the Gulf both in the OEF and OIF theatres of operation. All first responders, and specifically police officers, can also be subjected to reoccurring traumatic events which can result in significant stress both on the job and in their personal lives. It is for this reason that PTSD is a critical class to attend both to ensure that officers understand and can defuse someone who is experiencing this severe condition; but to understand how it can affect them as well.

This course is taught by an experienced Board Certified Psychologist and a Police Psychologist and CIT Instructor/Hostage Negotiator who have jointly been involved in and have successfully and peacefully resolved scores of incidents involving subjects presenting wit serious mental health disorders.

This course is supported by audio-visual examples of actual incidents and a reference manual.

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