Adult Mental Health Division

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map of hawaii with location marker at Kaneohe, HI

Positions: 1 Full-time Funded Position

General Information

The Adult Mental Health Division (AMHD) is a branch of the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health. The AMHD internship site encompasses three interrelated but distinct areas of forensic mental health. The internship experience will primarily be based out of the Hawai’i State Hospital (HSH), which is a psychiatric state hospital on O’ahu serving a legally encumbered patient population as well as those who have been granted conditional release but have been deemed too dangerous to remain in the community. Patients present with a wide range of diagnoses including severe and acute mental illness, developmental disorders, and substance- use disorders. Most present with co-morbid diagnoses.  This internship site also offers a rotation at the Court Evaluation Branch (CEB) and in the outpatient community mental health centers. About 75% of their overall experience will be provided through HSH, and 25% will be split between the CEB and the community outpatient sector.

Please note: Interns need reliable automobile transportation for this placement.

The Internship Experience

The intern placed at AMHD will develop competencies in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of culturally diverse clients. As a member of a multidisciplinary team, the intern placed at AMHD will collaborate with a variety of healthcare professionals and develop treatment programs. The intern will also conduct therapy with inmates and have specialized experiences in crisis intervention, individual therapy, group therapy, and conducting psychoeducational groups. Therapeutic services are intended to specifically target a psycholegal question (i.e., competence to stand trial, risk mitigation, complying with the terms of Conditional Release).

The CEB rotation will include shadowing of forensic experts who are court-ordered to conduct evaluations of fitness to proceed, penal responsibility and dangerousness. Interns will write mock/shadow reports to familiarize themselves with the process. The outpatient component will involve direct, individual therapy with patients being serviced at the community mental health centers. The intern will shadow a court-based clinician to observe expedited evaluations of competency. Observation of Mental Health Court and facilitation of psychoeducation groups will also take place. Interns at this site will work with legally encumbered clients with severe and persistent mental illnesses (psychiatric and mood disorders), personality disorders, substance use disorders, intellectual and developmental disorders, and cognitive/brain disorders.

As a member of the multidisciplinary team, the intern placed at AMHD will have opportunities to interact with a variety of healthcare professionals and develop treatment programs. Training at AMHD includes the specialized experiences of conducting forensically relevant assessments including risk for violence, elopement and suicide risk, psychopathy, symptom/cognitive malingering assessments, personality, and cognitive assessments. Forensic assessment instruments include competence to stand trial assessments, criminal responsibility assessments, and competence to stand trial malingering assessments. Although not a requirement, interns may have the opportunity to shadow their supervisors if they conduct evaluations or attend court on other islands (if this is of interest to the intern).

Contact Information

Site Director: Meghan McBrearty, Ph.D., ABPP
Email: Meghan.McBrearty@doh.hawaii.gov
Telephone: (808) 236-8576
Mailing Address: 47-710 Keaahala Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744