New training teaches conflict de-escalation skills for working with people having mental health crises

The City launched a new training to teach de-escalation skills and strategies you can use when working with a person in a mental health crisis. The goal of the training is to increase safety for employees and members of the public, reduce the trauma of the crisis and keep the person in crisis on the road to recovery and wellness.

The class provides information about different mental illnesses, and speakers with mental health disorders describe their experiences. Attendees learn specific techniques to successfully end a crisis encounter. They then get a chance to practice the skills and strategies learned through role playing with professional actors.

The training uses role-play scenarios based on real-life situations that City employees have faced. To make the scenarios authentic, the professional actors have been trained to emulate the actions of a person in a crisis by improvisational teachers and coaches, first responders, mental health professionals, people with mental illnesses and other brain disorders, and advocates.

The City’s Property Security Services Division partnered with the Barbara Schneider Foundation to offer the training, which takes a full day. Classes will be held every other month. Employees with frequent, direct contact with the public will be given the opportunity to enroll first. Watch Minneapolis Matters and CityTalk for information on when the training is available to all employees.

Published Feb 23, 2016

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