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By taking the ICISF Assisting Individuals in Crisis and Group Crisis Intervention courses, we, as mental health professionals, have learned how to provide assistance to First Responders after a Critical Incident. But what if they seek our help with none crisis issues, do we treat them the same as we would any civilian who comes to us for help? The answer is a resounding NO! As with any special group, we must take into consideration the “cultural issues” of the group and adjust our clinical interventions to acknowledge their difference. This seminar is a quick look at some of the specifics of first responders and the cultures of their profession and some ideas on adapting our clinical interventions to meet their needs.
Learning Objectives:Upon completion, participants will be able to:
- Identify 3 key aspects of a first responder culture
- Identify 2 unique stressors in each first responder culture
- Identify 2 adaptations they might make in their clinical approach to working with first responders in their practice setting
Dennis Potter, LMSW, FAAETS
Dennis Potter is a licensed social worker who helped to form one of the first community based Crisis Response Teams in Michigan in 1986 and the Michigan Crisis Response Association. Dennis is the CEO of Kantu Consultants. He is an Approved Instructor for all of the ICISF Core Courses, and is a member of the ICISF Faculty since 2006.
Dennis has been a presenter at the last 14 International Critical Incident Stress Foundation World Congresses. Dennis was awarded the ICISF Excellence in Training and Education Award at the 2011 World Congress. Dennis was given the Grand Rapids Police Department Exceptional Civilian Service Award for his 22 years of working with their Peer-to-Peer program.
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Communities are demanding police change how they respond to incidents, which someone is in crisis or with mental health and/or social issue concerns. Traditionally, police have responded with a law & order approach, which at times is hurtful to those in need of help. This approach may further escalate someone in crisis, which is not helpful, but further hurts the person in their time of need. Even worse is when officers use physical force when de-escalation would have been far more appropriate.
Jen Corbin and Lieutenant Steven Thomas will discuss how the SAFER-R model and CISM can be utilized to assist the community in their time of need. Law enforcement routinely responds to traumatic incidents and they will discuss how CISM interventions can be used to help families and the community. Further they will discuss how the SAFER-R model can be adapted to assist citizens whether it be: for children living in traumatic living conditions, someone looking for recovery from substance abuse, someone facing re-entry into the community from incarceration or to assist someone making threats.
Learning Objectives:Upon completion, participants will be able to
- Describe how the SAFER-R model can be modified for various community policing interventions.
- List situations which the SAFER-R can be utilized in community policing.
- Describe a “trauma responsive mindset”
Steven J. Thomas
Anne Arundel County Police
Lt. Steven Thomas, CCISM has a BA from UMBC and a MA from the University of Baltimore. He started as a patrolman with the Anne Arundel County Police in 1996 where he remained in patrol until he became the CIT and Peer Support Coordinator in 2016. In 2020 the Anne Arundel County CIT Unit was named International CIT Unit of the Year.
He is the Anne Arundel County CISM Team Coordinator. Further, he is an ICISF approved instructor and in the spring of 2019 received the ICISF Pioneering Spirt Award.
He is a Youth & Adult Mental Health First Aid Instructor and in 2018 he was named a top 100 instructor.
Anne Arundel County Crisis Response
Jennifer Corbin, LMSW is Director of the Anne Arundel County Crisis Response System. Much of her work is in collaborating with outside agencies to work with the crisis system such as A. A. County Police and Fire, Health Dept., Public Schools, local hospitals, and local providers. She is a trained instructor in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). Ms. Corbin is also trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and helped develop a peer support team for A.A. County Police. Ms. Corbin received her master’s degree in Social Work from The UMD School of Social Work.