Behavioral Interventions Topic of RLS Seminar
September 1, 2004
Effecting cultural change within organizations around the state and the appropriate use of behavioral interventions will be the topic of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health's thirteenth Robert Lee Sutherland Seminar scheduled for December 2-3, 2004, in Austin.
The use of restraints, seclusion, and other alternatives for persons who are at risk of harming themselves or others is a complex and controversial issue for a number of entities, particularly law enforcement, residential treatment facilities, and schools. Some argue that when used appropriately, restraint and/or seclusion can be life-saving and protective measures. Others note that when employed inappropriately or without proper training, the procedures can be dangerous, painful, and prone to abuse.
"Our desire is for this seminar to provide an extensive dialogue on emergency interventions that draws upon the expertise of behavioral healthcare providers, mental health advocates, consumers and family members, systems administrators, and clinical and legal scholars who are well versed in the issues," said Dr. Lynda Frost, associate director for mental health policy and law at the Hogg Foundation.
Frost noted that the seminar comes at an important time for mental health services in the United States. Reductions in public and private expenditures for behavioral health care, combined with new regulatory requirements, are sparking difficult challenges for many treatment facilities. At the same time, new evidence-based clinical procedures and strategies are emerging that could reduce (or some say eliminate) reliance on restraint and seclusion as a method of mitigating dangerous incidents.
"Standards and practices have been changing so rapidly in recent years that it has been hard to keep abreast of all the developments. We hope that this seminar will provide a basis for adapting new information to fit circumstances in Texas. By convening participants from a number of agencies and localities, we hope to begin building a common language and a data collection framework to better implement restraint and seclusion standards within the context of quality service provision in Texas," Frost said.
Frost added that to focus on alternatives in the Texas context, the Seminar will rely extensively on examples provided by seminar participants of difficult situations faced by service providers and will seek to develop informed responses to those situations.
This will be the thirteenth Robert Lee Sutherland Seminar hosted by the Hogg Foundation. The seminars are a living tribute to the first director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. Beginning in 1978, and continuing biennially since, the seminars have encouraged people to work cooperatively to address timely issues for the improvement of mental health and the quality of life in Texas.
For more information on the seminar, contact the Hogg Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-404-4336.