During this highly engaging and captivating skill building session, participants will review characteristics of common mental health disorders to better understand challenges and problem solve solutions when working with clients with mental illness. While exploring the stereotypes and stigmas surrounding mental illness, participants will develop empathy which will help the APS worker enhance rapport building skills and understanding to ensure a thorough service plan is created. Participants will work through a powerful thought disorder simulation, allowing them to “walk in the shoes” of someone who is living with untreated mental illness. This skill based session provides participants a safe place to explore working through a suicide risk assessment in order to confidently asses for suicide risk when working in the field.

The following instructional strategies are used: Loosely Structured Team Based Learning model, experiential exercises (e.g., small group discussion, case studies); PowerPoint slides and video clips; participant guide (encourages self-questioning and interaction with the content and process); and transfer of learning tool to access knowledge and skill acquisition and how these translate into practice in the field.

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