Perceptions & Attitudes on Behavioral Health & Disabilities
This module provides the opportunity for participants to consider common perceptions and attitudes related to people with behavioral health conditions (including mental health and substance use disorders) and disabilities and consider how those perceptions and attitudes may impact their interactions with these individuals. It presents information on the development of perceptions and attitudes and how they might be changed. It also introduces the topic of disability and highlights core values for officers to consider in their responses to people who experience a crisis in the community. In sum, the purpose of this module is to encourage participants to think about the diverse communities they respond to and interact with and emphasize the need for an open, understanding mind to best support these communities through crisis response.
This module should be co-taught by a sworn law enforcement officer, mental health lead and/or disability lead, especially those with lived experience. The instructors need to have knowledge of this subject matter, the role of bias in human behavior, and have experience with crisis response. They should be a seasoned trainer, have a sound understanding of the community, and understand law enforcement culture. The instructors must be skilled at engagement with law enforcement participants.
Time 70 minutes
Upon completing this module, participants should be able to:
Discuss commonly held beliefs that people may have toward people with behavioral health conditions and developmental disabilities;
Explain where perceptions and attitudes come from and how they can perpetuate stigma and discrimination;
Explain how to adapt perceptions and attitudes to promote effective crisis response; and
Describe SAMHSA’s Recovery Values and the Developmental Disability Community’s Values and Culture.