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KMHS hosts law/ethics seminar

BREMERTON — In every job in ever workplace, sometimes a difficult or uncomfortable situation can occur. For most professions, if the situation is handled incorrectly, it can be chalked up as a lesson learned. Professionals in the mental health field, however, a badly handled situation could affect the professional, the patient and quite possibly the community at large.

In an Oct. 17 seminar, mental health professionals can receive useful guidance on how to handle those situations in a law-abiding, ethical manner.

Kitsap Mental Health Services (KMHS) is hosting the seminar, “Law and Ethics” from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Norm Dicks Government Center, 345 6th Street, in Bremerton.

“The seminar will provide practical information and guidelines for professionals in the mental health and counseling fields in our state,” said Rochelle Doan, KMHS spokesperson. “It’s really an opportunity for people to think through some of the dilemmas that can be encountered when they practice in the counseling field.”

Everyday situations expected to be discussed include everything from seeing clients out and about in the community to more sensitive issues dealing with minors, such as when to involve other agencies or counselors.

“Mandatory laws and compelling ethical standards, a decision-making model and case examples of actual clinical dilemmas will be presented,” Doan said.

More specifically, headline speaker Judy C. Roberts, a Seattle-based licensed mental health counselor, will discuss legal issues and ethical decision-making surrounding the profession. Roberts has taught professional ethics at Antioch University. She currently teaches continuing education workshops for mental health professionals. Roberts currently works in the state’s Department of Health’s Professional Quality Assurance Division.

The law and ethics seminar is one KMHS usually offers every other year, but this year is an exception. The seminar was offered last year. Despite the one-year time frame, Doan expects to see about 40 people in attendance.

All mental health professionals — mental health counselors, marriage and family counselors and social workers — can attend the seminar. Attendees can receive six continuing education credits for the seminar.

The fee is $89 per person.

For more information, go to www.kitsapmentalhealth.org or call Carol Funch at the KMHS Human Resource Department, at (360) 415-5882.

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