Who needs a Forensic Psychiatrist?

Forensic experts in psychiatry and psychology are retained in arenas both in, and out, of the judicial system.

In civil or criminal civil cases, you may be asked to consider anything from competency to stand trial to whether or not Bipolar Disorder is worsened after a traumatic experience.

Forensic experts are “damages” experts. This means the purpose of their testimony is so juries and judges can better understand the mental health consequences (or lack thereof) to individuals as a result of what is being adjudicated.

That said, the judicial system isn’t the only arena requiring the skills of a forensic mental health professionals.

Employers faced with an employee who may be unfit to perform their job as a result of possible mental health problems, can’t ignore it, but who is qualified to do so? A forensic psychiatrist or psychologist can conduct an assessment, usually at the employer’s request.  These assessments are commonly called “Fitness for Duty” or FFD.

In employment and any other environment, individuals may be at risk for committing acts of violence.  A “threat assessment” (TA) or “risk of violence” assessment in the workplace is a serious matter, no matter how casual the comment or action. Further, there are legal ramifications for employers if they don’t take action, for the employee as well as co-workers. Whether the concerns derive from threats or outright acts of violence, other employees cannot do their job in a hostile workplace. If they are fearful, employers need to mitigate the potential damage. Employment attorneys may need the assistance of an expert experienced with FFDs in related cases.

There are many other situations which benefit from a forensic psychiatrist or psychologist’s expertise. In fact, attorneys don’t always know when that is the very expert they need. The more attorneys know, the more likely they are to see the benefit of retaining you.

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