PeerTac Logo PeerTAC Peer Support Services Technical Assistance Center

Peer Support:

No Force First: Best Practices

No force first

An Interview with Kevin Huckshorn, Ph.D., MSN, RN, CADC, ICRC: 

This video/podcast relates to Peer Support Services in a MHOTRS clinic because clients of a clinic may have experienced seclusion and restraint. Staff need to be aware of the trauma of this experience and its lasting effects on a person. Peer principles embody trauma-informed care and can improve the sensitivity and service delivery within a MHOTRS clinic.

Seclusion and Restraint

Seclusion and Restraint is a dangerous and traumatizing experience for both patients and staff. People who have been in seclusion and restraint share that they are affected by the traumatic experience years after it occurs. It is important that we develop safer, more humane, and empowering approaches to help those hospitalized for mental health needs. Kevin Huckshorn is a trailblazer and leader in addressing this issue. This must-see episode shares real life situations and solutions to reducing seclusion and restraint in even the toughest settings.

Meet Kevin Huckshorn, Ph.D., MSN, RN, CADC, ICRC: 

Kevin is a psychiatric nurse of 40+ years and a champion for improved treatment of individuals with mental health needs. In 1998 she became the Assistant Hospital Director in an initiative with South Florida State Hospital that reduced the violence that led to seclusion and restraint by 97% in a year. Kevin later worked with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors for 10 years and ran the Center for Violence Prevention and Seclusion and Restraint Reduction. She has worked in Delaware as the Commissioner for Mental Health and Substance Abuse and later helped with the transition of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline .  

What is in this episode:

  • The shadow side of rules and rules enforcement
  • The Six Core Strategies for reducing restraint and seclusion
  • The impact of one’s personal state, perspective, and approach
  • Scaling and standardizing practices that can last through staff turnover
  • The importance of including peers in the workforce
  • The impact made by focusing on strengths

Kevin can be contacted at for more information on her work in reducing seclusion and restraint.

© Crestwood Recovery Resilience Solutions. All rights reserved.
Viva La Evolution #013. Interview by Lori Ashcraft. Used with permission.
Summary by Stephen Nawotniak, Alliance for Rights and Recovery (formerly NYAPRS). 

Relevant Links:

about Viva La Evolution and Crestwood

Developed by Crestwood Behavioral Health
With Contributions by the Alliance for Rights and Recovery (formerly New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services)
For PeerTAC
Funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health