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Webinar Description

This presentation provides a roadmap of essential knowledge and skills for mental health clinicians working on police-partnered and non-police mobile crisis intervention teams (MCIT). Public outrage over police-involved deaths of people in mental health crisis has prompted governments to expand access to crisis services that offer a recovery-oriented alternative to traditional police-led community interventions. MCIT’s offer assessment and support for people in distress while averting escalation. This presentation is informed by crisis theory and intended for social workers, nurses, psychologists, students, and others interested learning about and working within these expanding intervention models.

The presentation will start with an overview of the history of mobile crisis intervention programs in North America and describe variations in model structures across jurisdictions. A brief literature review of research evaluating the efficacy of these programs will be included. This will lead into a review of 11 practice skills for workers on these teams. These skills include the capacity to engage of complex clients, de-escalate tension, assess risk in the community, plan for safety, provide brief addiction counselling, diffuse interpersonal conflict, link clients with community resources, advocacy, challenge systemic racism, build constructive relationships, and document services with awareness of relevant legislation. The practice insights discussed in this presentation are relevant to preventing harm and loss of life while facilitating engagement between clients and mental health services.

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