Paper Title

Sexual Assault and Mental Health: The Role of Mental Health Workers

Location

Room 222, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

31-3-2016 2:00 PM

End Date

31-3-2016 3:15 PM

Keywords

Sexual Assault, Mental Health, Mental Health Workers

Abstract

This paper will look at sexual assault and mental health from the point of view of employees and volunteers who work directly with victims of sexual assault. Prior research by McLindon and Harms (2011) investigated how mental health crisis assessment and treatment service workers respond to sexual assault disclosures in crisis service settings. Workers reported inadequate sexual assault training and about half of participants did not feel prepared enough to respond to a sexual assault disclosure. What is unclear is whether people with more intense and focused training feel adequately prepared and how they handle the stress associated with being a rape crisis counselor. Surveys will be administered to volunteers at a rape crisis agency who work directly with victims of sexual assault. Data will summarize both the personal mental health experiences and professional issues that emerge as a result of working with victims of sexual assault. The focus of this paper is geared toward steps that can be taken to increase preparedness and reduce stress of the rape crisis counselors. Ultimately, this will aid in the process of recovery and decrease negative symptoms for persons struggling with the trauma of childhood, teen, and adulthood sexual assault.

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Mar 31st, 2:00 PM Mar 31st, 3:15 PM

Sexual Assault and Mental Health: The Role of Mental Health Workers

Room 222, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

This paper will look at sexual assault and mental health from the point of view of employees and volunteers who work directly with victims of sexual assault. Prior research by McLindon and Harms (2011) investigated how mental health crisis assessment and treatment service workers respond to sexual assault disclosures in crisis service settings. Workers reported inadequate sexual assault training and about half of participants did not feel prepared enough to respond to a sexual assault disclosure. What is unclear is whether people with more intense and focused training feel adequately prepared and how they handle the stress associated with being a rape crisis counselor. Surveys will be administered to volunteers at a rape crisis agency who work directly with victims of sexual assault. Data will summarize both the personal mental health experiences and professional issues that emerge as a result of working with victims of sexual assault. The focus of this paper is geared toward steps that can be taken to increase preparedness and reduce stress of the rape crisis counselors. Ultimately, this will aid in the process of recovery and decrease negative symptoms for persons struggling with the trauma of childhood, teen, and adulthood sexual assault.