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SAMHSA News - July/August, Volume 14, Number 4

Curriculum on Restraint Reduction Available

SAMHSA recently released a new training curriculum to give mental health providers the latest information on prevention strategies and alternative approaches to avoid and reduce the use of seclusion and restraint.

The training curriculum, Roadmap to Seclusion and Restraint Free Mental Health Services for Persons of All Ages, is organized in seven modules and emphasizes the importance of creating cultural change within organizations to effect reduction in seclusion and restraint practices.

Specifically, the document outlines best practices in the use of trauma-informed care and other aspects to support resiliency and recovery of people with mental illnesses while avoiding seclusion and restraint practices that can harm rather than help.

Curriculum modules discuss specific strategies including self-care approaches, peer-provided services, arts programs, comfort rooms, and other approaches designed to enhance service environments and consumer participation as means to avoid the use of restraint and seclusion.

In addition, a range of other approaches are described, including advance directives, mediation, and communication approaches. Each represents a potential tool for providers to ensure consumer safety. Techniques for sustaining reduction efforts via consumer and staff involvement as well as a listing of resources are included.

The curriculum employs a unique consumer-driven approach that was successfully pilot-tested prior to publication.

Available in CD-ROM format, the curriculum provides complete lesson plans and handouts for each training module. Online, the curriculum is available from SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center at To order a CD-ROM, call the Center at 1 (800) 789-2647.

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