New Training: Addressing Mental Health Concerns on Campus
Training to Address Mental Health Concerns on Campus
May 3 - 4, 2018, at University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mental health issues are a concern for all of us—among those we protect and within our ranks. Campus public safety agencies are often on the front lines of handling incidents in which mental health crises are a critical factor. These crises can play out in a number of ways, some of which involve officer safety concerns. To that end, it is important that campus public safety officers have a working understanding of common mental health issues and how they daily impact the job of protecting the community. It is also important to understand how to work with mental health practitioners and to recognize that peacekeepers need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others.
In keeping with the association’s mission, IACLEA announces the launch of a new 1 ½ day course: Addressing Mental Health Concerns on Campus. During this important training, participants will learn about the prevalence of mental illness on campus, as well as unique challenges that develop in the campus environment. The course will cover major mental illnesses, such as depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. An understanding of these issues will allow the conversation to move into intervention strategies such as de-escalation and stabilization and will also address officer safety concerns when interacting with an individual in crisis.
The ultimate goal of campus public safety is to keep communities safe. To support that goal, the course will offer information on how to resolve situations involving a person or persons with mental health problems. Tactics include working with campus and community mental health partners for referrals, voluntary and involuntary treatment, arrest, and alternatives for non-sworn officers.
Any conversation about mental health on campuses also must address the helpers. Campus public safety personnel are routinely exposed to high-stress environments, and it is important that we support officers and other staff when they need help. In learning about critical incident stress management, officer-involved critical incident response/support, and strategies to promote resiliency, participants will better be able to promote and develop an organizational culture of support. This culture of support is crucial to campus public safety agencies fulfilling their duty.
IACLEA is extremely pleased that Chief Kristen Roman, University of Wisconsin – Madison, will develop and co-instruct this course. Chief Roman is an expert on addressing mental health concerns on campus, and she has worked for years as both a practitioner and an instructor in this area. She will co-train with IACLEA Training Director Josh Bronson. During his time as a campus public safety deputy chief, Bronson was a certified Mental Health First Aid USA instructor.