Minnesota Alliance on Crime (MAC) is presenting a training opportunity on working with victims with severe mental illness.
Violence and crime are systemic problems that impact all members of a community, either directly or indirectly. Crime victims may experience new or exacerbated mental health issues as the result of being the victim of a crime, and research shows that people with mental health issues are also statistically more likely to be victimized themselves. Advocates working with victims of crimes should be educated and trained in basic information regarding mental health symptoms and causes, as well as strategies to effectively advocate and work with a victim experiencing severe mental health issues. Advocates must also be aware of the impacts of vicarious trauma on their own mental health and have the tools and support needed to succeed sustainably in their roles.
1) Understand correlations between crime victimization and mental health, including differences and similarities between short-term trauma responses and long-term chronic mental health diagnoses.
2) Differentiate between the role of an advocate versus other criminal justice system partners and how to effectively advocate for victims experiencing mental health symptoms, including sample language and de-escalation techniques advocates can use to mediate a mental health crisis.
3) Learn the impacts of vicarious trauma on advocates and review strategies to improve the health and well-being of frontline providers working with crime victims.