MHF staff members complete crisis intervention training

POSTED: 06/23/16 10:07 PM


MHF CPI trainingMHF staff members in action during their training. Photo contributed

St. Maarten News – For the past 10 years, the Mental Health Foundation has provided mental health services to St. Maarten, and more recently to neighboring islands such as Saba and Statia. These services that cater a range of needs, including the stimulation of awareness and knowledge on mental illness, clinical care, ambulant care, crisis prevention and intervention.

The staff of the MHF has recently completed the nonviolent crisis intervention training provided by the Eastern Caribbean Training and Development Center (TDC) .

The philosophy of this program is to provide the best possible “Care, Welfare, Safety, and Security” for the clients and the staff, even in the face of crisis situations. The program includes models such as the Crisis Development Model. It outlines four levels in the development of a crisis, as well as the attitudes and approaches required by the staff to handle the situation appropriately.

During the program the staff was trained on how to use nonviolent physical interventions as a last resort for agitated, out-of -control individuals even in the most violent moments. This training would help to avoid the assistance of police for future crisis situation at MHF. The corresponding attitudes and approaches are: supportive, directive, nonviolent physical crisis intervention, and therapeutic rapport, respectively.

The importance of such a training program cannot be overstated. In crisis situations, the well-being of both the clients and the staff are of the highest priority for the MHF. Although the majority of persons who suffer from mental illnesses are not violent a safe approach must be utilized to de-escalate volatile situations and manage combative individuals. We believe the best way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it and intervene before it escalates out of control.

The nonviolent crisis intervention training is a vital step that the MHF has taken to avoid crises and safeguard the reliability of the institution, as a place where individuals can feel safe as they treat and recover from their mental illnesses and improve their overall physical, mental, and social wellbeing.

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