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Threat assessment training to take place in San Luis Obispo County 

threat assesement slo county
Behavioral Health Assessment Response Project (B-HARP) & County of San Luis Obispo to provide training and tools to prevent youth violence

– On October 19 – 21, dozens of local educational, mental health, and law enforcement professionals will gather to learn from nationally-recognized threat assessment experts about the psychological and behavioral warning signs of youth on the pathway to violence potential. This invitation-only event, provided free of charge to participants, is coordinated by Dr. Joseph Holifield of the Behavioral Health Assessment Response Project (B-HARP), funded by a State of California Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) INNovation Grant, and administered by the County of San Luis Obispo.

B-HARP, established in 2019, features multi-agency partners focused on assessing, preventing, and managing threats of violence by increasing institutional knowledge and collaboration among law enforcement, behavioral health, and education. Key participants include San Luis Coastal Unified School District, Coast Unified School District, the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, San Luis Obispo SELPA, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, San Luis Obispo Police Department, San Luis Obispo County Department of Behavioral Health and Family Care Network. The value of the program among participants is evident: Adam Helfand, District Psychologist and Director of Special Education at Coast Unified School District noted, “As a school administrator and school psychologist, I really appreciate the concept and goals that the B-HARP project is attempting to achieve in our county. I have participated in the B-HARP project for over a year and see how the combination of training and developing a system of community support around this issue is vital to prevention and community intervention.”

This year’s training builds off of the pilot virtual training in 2020 and features the same leading threat assessment experts: John Van Dreal, school psychologist and co-creator of the Salem-Keizer/Cascade Threat Assessment Model, and Manny Tau, Psy.D., a clinical and forensic psychologist and Certified Threat Manager (CTM). Dr. Holifield, a local clinical psychologist and school psychologist and B-HARP grant coordinator, will moderate the Tuesday and Wednesday trainings. He will be co-presenting with Dr. Tau at the Thursday training.

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