Mental Health Evaluators

Join the Conversation

Tuesday, July 7th to Wednesday, September 30th

Please join us in an online, open forum on telehealth. NCB is providing an opportunity for clinicians to ask each other questions, share observations and adapted telehealth protocols for the SoT population via an online forum and technical exchange. This conversation will be a forum for peer-led informational exchange. NCB staff will assist in facilitating and monitoring the conversation.

Directions: Please watch Eugene Augusterfer’s presentation and interview Telemedicine in Mental Health first. Then feel free to join us in this open forum. All are welcome to join this forum, whether you have an account on or not. For more information on using the forum, please read the directions on the first post. Please keep your comments respectful, relevant, factual, and do not share identifying information about clients per client privacy and HIPAA regulations. This forum will be open from July 6, 2020 through September 30, 2020.

Irreconcilable Conflict Between Therapeutic and Forensic Roles

Greenberg, S., Shuman, D, (1997), Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, February 1997 Vol. 28, No. 1, 50-57, American Psychological Association

The authors present the principles that underlie why combining clinical and forensic roles is conflicting and problematical, and stress the importance of avoiding such conflicts, avoiding the threat to the efficacy of therapy, avoiding the threat to the accuracy of judicial determinations, and avoiding deception when providing testimony.

Central American Victims of Gang Violence as Asylum Seekers: The Role of the Forensic Expert

Jesus-Rentas, G, Boehnlein, J, Sparr, L (2010) Journal of the American Academy Psychiatry Law 38:490–8, 2010

In recent years, mental health practitioners have become involved in the evaluation of asylum seekers who claim to be victims of torture and persecution because of their political points of view, or because of oppression in their country of origin.

The Role of Mental Health Professionals in Political Asylum Processing

Meffert, Susan, Musalo, Karen, McNiel, Dale and Binder, Renée (2010), Journal of American Academy of Psychiatry, 38:479-489

The authors describe the legal context of asylum applications, identify concerns of particular legal importance that can be addressed by mental health evaluations of asylees, and discuss the role of mental health professionals in consultations with immigration attorneys, including training in safe and efficient interviewing of traumatized clients and development of skills to protect against the risk of burnout and secondary trauma among immigration attorneys.

Istanbul Protocol: Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 1999

When considering psychological consequences of torture, see, particularly, section VI, Psychological Evidence of Torture, pages 43-56.

When writing affidavits, see, particularly, Annex IV, Guidelines for medical evaluation of torture and ill-treatment, pages 70-72.

Available in a variety of languages.

Disparities in Justice and Care: Persons With Severe Mental Illnesses in the U.S. Immigration Detention System

Ochoa, K, Pleasants, G, Penn, J and Stone, D (2010), Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry Law 38:392–9

The authors review the unique public health and legal problems that arise when a person with a severe mental illness is detained within the U.S. immigration system. Emerging standard of care and human rights concerns implicated by this topic require diligent scrutiny from a forensic, legal, and advocacy perspective and make this an important area for increased awareness among forensic psychiatrists.

Immigration Detention

American Civil Liberties Union
The Department of Homeland Security assumes that mass detention is the key to immigration enforcement. But in fact, our detention system locks up hundreds of thousands of immigrants unnecessarily every year, exposing detainees to brutal and inhumane conditions of confinement at massive costs to American taxpayers.
The ACLU dedicates a section of their website dedicated to the issue of immigrants in detention, listing resources, up-to-date data and advocacy tools.


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