Cops invited to meditation seminars at huge mental health conference in Portland

The local organizer of a huge, 1000-delegate mental health conference this week in Portland has invited the city’s cops to attend some of the 80 seminars at the Marriott Waterfront hotel on SW Naito. Local organizer Drake Ewbank says outsiders, including off duty coppers would be more than welcome to attend some of the sessions. Blogtown readers and cops, if you’re interested, just show up, or email for more information. Here are some suggested sessions:

1.”Working to reduce the use of seclusion and restraints,” Howard Trachtman, Thursday Oct 26, 10.30am-11:45am
2.”Meditation: dealing with your stuff,” Ed Knight, Friday Oct 27, 2:00pm-3.15pm
3.”From stigma and discrimination to self determination,” Delphine Brody, Friday Oct 27, 3:45pm-5pm

The conference coincides with Friday’s 7 pm memorial service for James Chasse—at the First Congregational Church, 1126 SW Park Avenue. Ewbank says: “If the Chasse incident draws attention to what we’re doing, gets the subject into the public discussion, where it’s not been for a long time, that’s good. But it’s sad that many involved in the organization of the conference are going to be spending most of their time organizing a memorial service.”

“Although the Chasse incident is probably not about mental illness,” he continues. “It’s about the police. The real thing it comes down to for us is cops not being trained well enough and lacking the proper control to respond to an incident in a way that is not lethal.”