National Institute of Corrections
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Mental Health Training in Corrections

By Kellie Meyer

ABSTRACT:    When we see someone trip and fall, we might chuckle a little bit at first, but most of the time we ask if the person is okay. A significant percentage of us would actually walk over and lend a hand.  Why is it, then, that we attempt to avoid a man we see carrying on an animated conversation with himself, or a woman banging her head against a wall? We might point or draw attention to this behavior in a mocking way.  We don't understand that behavior, but doesn't that person need assistance too?  We find it hard to educate ourselves about mental illness, because if we ask, the person we ask may think we are asking for personal reasons.  Then, we fear they will see us as incompetent or invasive. Many times these individuals' behaviors escalate to crisis situations that no one knows how to assist and they end up in jail or prison.

Posted Fri, Aug 26 2011 1:54 PM by Tracey Vessels


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