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Talking about mental health is difficult, particularly within the legal field. Even in 2022, mental health (and the subsequent treatment of it) is a stigmatized topic not often broached by legal professionals. There is often a fear of making your client feel “worse” or accidentally offending them when discussing their symptoms. The goal of this presentation is to provide (1) tips for talking to and representing clients who struggle with mental illness; (2) tips for de-escalation and navigating a trauma response; and (3) tips for navigating delusions and psychotic disorders. Advocates who attend this Briefing will walk away feeling more comfortable in navigating mental illness and conversations about trauma, symptoms, and be a more effective communicator overall.
- Introductory overview of engaging in a conversation about mental health (10 minutes)
- A discussion on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and how trauma can manifest (15 minutes)
- A discussion of psychoses and how psychotic symptoms can manifest in communication (15 minutes)
- Tips on de-escalation when conversations go wrong (10 minutes)
- Tips on how to discuss suicide (10 minutes)
Chelsea Donaldson, Esq., MSW.
Veteran’s Benefits and Eligibility
Connecticut Veterans Legal Center