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Kassie R Terrell, PhD

Assistant Professor 

Brenda Santioni, Aaron Percoco, and Samantha Powell

Graduate students/interns 

Clinical Mental Health Counseling | Public Health | Brooks College of Health | University of North Florida


Click here to view an Interview with Clinical Mental Health Counseling Professor Dr. Terrell and graduate interns and find answers for the below questions:


Please tell me a little bit more about yourself, like your educational background, job titles, the different roles you currently have, and how long you have been doing this.

Despite the different mental or behavioral health conditions encountered as counselors, each of which has its own symptoms, do you find any common characteristics or behaviors among these individuals?


Do individuals with behavioral or mental health conditions, in general, tend to be more sensitive to stressful or high-pressure scenarios?

In handling or encountering individuals with behavioral or mental health conditions, are there any general communications skills you use to avoid escalating the emotional and mental challenges of the patients? For example, is there a certain way of talking to them, or phrases or ideas to avoid saying?


Do different behavioral or mental health conditions warrant different types of communication? (Does identification of a particular mental health condition change the counseling approach?)


Are there particular communication tips, like things to say or avoid saying) to effectively handle a patient who is in a state of emotional distress?


Do you know any common misconceptions people have of those with behavioral or mental health conditions?

Being a clinical mental health counselor who works closely with individuals suffering from complex conditions can be stressful and mentally taxing for you all as workers yourselves. Are there any tools or services to support you guys in the face of your demanding work?


From my understanding, part of the UNF clinical mental health counseling program is working with the Atlantic Beach police department to provide training and mental health knowledge. What does this training overall entail, and if there is a set time, roughly how many hours is the training?


Are there specific mental health conditions that are focused on in this training? If so, can you explain the thought process behind the decision to focus on these?


As part of education on mental illness, do those members of the clinical mental health counseling program who work with the Atlantic Beach Police department provide officers with characteristics that may help recognize someone with a mental health illness?


As part of the current training, are there interactions with individuals with mental health conditions to provide first-hand experience?


Are any de-stressing techniques provided in this training for officers themselves after they deal with a crisis response?

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