Wednesday, February 18, 2009

free training: jail diversion & mental illness; hearing voices in distress

The Interagency Forensic Network is offering FREE training to individuals who come into contact with persons with a mental illness.

Training opportunities consist of:
Jail diversion and Mental Illness Awareness: This training, offered to law enforcement personnel, is a DPS approved course in which participants may earn 4 hours of CEU credit. The course is conducted by two psychologists, a law enforcement officer, and a mental health consumer.

Course content: introduction to the statewide jail diversion effort, awareness and understanding of mental disorders commonly encountered (including symptoms, common medications, behaviors, etc.), and myths of mental illness. Officer safety is stressed throughout this course.

Experiential component: In an effort to promote of safety, this workshop offers law enforcement officers a unique opportunity to better understand the perspective of individuals with mental illness with whom they are interacting. Participants will be provided the opportunity to experience auditory hallucinations while attempting to complete simple tasks under the supervision of the trainers. This workshop has been conducted for law enforcement in various parts of New Mexico and has been widely acclaimed.

We can accommodate up to twenty individuals in this workshop. Ideally, we would like to have a minimum of 15.

Hearing Voices that are Distressing (approximately 90 minutes):
Note: This workshop is tailored for individuals who interact with persons with mental illness in a variety of settings (e.g., probation and parole, attorneys, patient rights advocacy, members of the judiciary, custodial officers, EMT personnel, behavioral health providers, direct care workers in residential treatment, family members, etc.). Attendees will be introduced to the experience of hearing voices as they complete simple tasks under the supervision of the trainers. A goal of this workshop is to allow participants to empathize more deeply with the challenges faced by voice hearer.

We can accommodate 20 participants, and prefer a minimum of 15.

To arrange training or to obtain further information, contact:

James R. Johnson, Executive Director

Interagency Forensic Network

Ph: (cell): (505) 975-3435

Email: jrhjohnson at

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