"Our mission is to provide behavioral health agencies, schools, and other health organizations with a system of tools to reduce physical restraints"
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services initiated the “Bring the Kids Home Project” in the late 1990’s. This project mandated a return of Alaska children back to their State of origin. In 2006 alone, 743 youth were placed out-of-state at a cost of $40 million to the medicaid system. At any given time, 400-500 children were being cared for in out-of-state treatment centers. RES-PECT was created to help local Alaskan mental health agencies prepare staff to competently meet the needs of the returning Alaska children who had previously been placed in out-of-state residential or community based facilities.
Montie Ford, co-founder of the RES-PECT program shares his views. “I have been in the mental health field for over 30 years. I have listened to psychiatrists, clinicians, mental health technicians, administrators, and clients alike. The cry has always been the same, “Give us something that works!” With that in mind, I set out to make a difference.
I questioned staff who interacted with clients on a daily basis. I would ask, “as a professional what would help you excel at your job?” Concerns and requests flooded in. Staff shared their concerns about the need to feel confident in problem solving on their feet, how to interact effectively with the client behaviors, their need for de-escalating verbal skills, and physical skills that reduce injury to clients and staff.”
To meet these concerns, I began by addressing the verbal de-escalation skills that were needed. I did this by taking “conventional wisdom” and combined a holistic view of client diagnoses, behaviors, and medications in order to produce a more complete approach.
I met with Larry Wick, world renowned martial artist and the creator of Body Logic and Split Second Survival self defense system to discuss the problems and concerns I had been presented with. He agreed to be a co-founder of what is now RES-PECT. After countless hours of research on this complex project, Larry created the physical skills and techniques which were required in order to keep both staff and client safe.
Alaskan agencies heard about the RES-PECT program and subsequently contacted us for training. After receiving approval from the State of Alaska Behavioral Health Department we have been providing training to the Alaska Native Association, Women in Crisis shelters, substance abuse programs, family shelters, and mental health hospitals and facilities.
While concentrating on the Alaska need, the World Congress of the World Federation for Mental Health has invited us to present our RES-PECT program. We are currently in the process of preparing for this invitation.