Charleston VA Medical Center Psychologist and Police Chief present Mental Illness, Violence Risk and Suicide By Cop: Overview of Issues and Strategies at The 2016 Unspoken Wounds Conference hosted by The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Office of Adult Mental Health. The event will take place Monday, March 14, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Savannah Marriott Riverfront, Reynolds Room (2nd Floor Mezzanine), 100 General McIntosh Blvd., Savannah, GA 31401.
Since 2013, Charleston VAMC has been providing police officers along the South Carolina and Georgia coast with mental health training. Officers learn to recognize signs of suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder, with particular sensitivity to Veterans, then learn skills to verbally deescalate situations and strategies for dealing with a person in crisis. Through this conference, Charleston VAMC will reach beyond law enforcement by training additional community professionals, including: mental health advocacy agencies, disability services, criminal justice, public health and non-VA behavioral health clinicians.
Given the recent rise in law enforcement incidents nation-wide and the prevalence of mental illness for returning soldiers, training to defuse crisis situations across multiple disciplines is a proactive step to reduce negative outcomes and protect our Veterans and community members. The Charleston VAMC operates outpatient clinics in Savannah and Hinesville, Georgia where they actively partner with the community to provide education and services.
There will be opportunities to interview Charleston VA Psychologist Jamie McDonagh, Charleston VA Chief of Police Robert Guard and representatives from The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.