Mental Health and Addictions

Course Code: PFP 213

Academic Year: 2023-2024

This course will prepare students to work with those living with addictions and mental health in response to the increasing need for police services and justice professionals to engage with individuals who are experiencing a crisis. Students will learn how mental health and addictions can present in individuals and the ways in which police services, courts and correctional facilities can respond. Students will explore the historical and contemporary intervention and treatment approaches and protocols governing police responses and interventions for persons in crisis, including common mental health issues, addictions, trauma informed practices, harm reduction, recovery, stigma and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Students will explore gaps in services that exist in the criminal justice system with a focus on strategies for collaboration with other emergency services as well as multidisciplinary community agencies and personal support systems. Students will develop an understanding of the over-representation of marginalized groups in the criminal justice system and critically reflect on approaches to delivering timely, culturally appropriate and client-centered interventions when individuals are in crisis. To foster career readiness, students will gain an understanding of the importance of Emotional Wellness as well as the impact of responding to calls of distress and trauma. Compassion fatigue, Vicarious Trauma, Cumulative Stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will be discussed with strategies to foster self-care, resiliency, and support as a first responder.