Half Day Conference 2020

Your Client Needs Help! How to avert a mental health crisis or deal with one

Pre-Conference Listing:

Join us virtually this coming September 11th to look at how each of us––from judicial officer on down––can better support families during the legal process. Improving outcomes for all families, particularly those in crisis, requires a better understanding, and, importantly, empathy for that experience. Our objective is to raise the awareness of professionals in these important, front- line roles about effective and humane intervention for clients/families in crisis, and how to avoid inadvertently making matters worse.

Attendees will learn:
• the signs of severe emotional distress and how, in the varied family court roles, to assess the risk of harm, including suicide
• the elements of timely intervention to avoid a crisis: when, what, and where
• effective methods for broaching the topic of mental health referrals with litigants and
practice in small breakout groups
• what to do (and not to do) during the occurrence of a mental health crisis

Continuing Education has been applied for – 4 CE Hours


Linda Flanders is District 1 Commissioner and formerly a police detective specializing in child sex abuse. She is a crisis intervention de-escalation instructor and published Crisis Intervention 101. Her class for law enforcement is approved by the Minnesota Police Officers Standards and Training.The book provides an overview of mental health and the calls first responders most often are called to; reasons why a crisis can happen; and how to verbally de-escalate a crisis.



Deb Link, MA, LMFT provides therapy and ADR services to families experiencing divorce and separation, specifically those in high conflict, domestic violence, and individuals who have survived trauma. She has an interest in suicide prevention. She is the owner of Ascend Family Institute and works closely with The Bridging Center, developing and teaching courses there for co-parenting survivors of domestic violence.




Panel Discussion: Identifying Opportunities for Change

Following the plenary presentations and breakouts, Linda Flanders and Deb Link will join our panelists to discuss how family law, dispute resolution, and mental health professionals can use their skills, beliefs, and attitudes to promote greater understanding and compassion and create needed change.


Amanda Maenner, JD practices exclusively in the area of family law. After working at other private firms, she opened her own practice in 2011. Amanda’s work has included representing clients in high-conflict cases and with mental health concerns. In her career, she has dealt with cases involving murder/suicide and a suicide attempt. Amanda received her undergraduate degree in social welfare with an emphasis on women’s studies which informs her approach to working with her clients and resolving cases



Judge Timothy Mulrooney Honorable Timothy Mulrooney was appointed to the Second Judicial District Court in 2016. His professional experience includes working as a judicial referee in the Family Court Division of the Fourth Judicial District Court, an attorney at Henson & Efron, P.A., an assistant Hennepin County attorney, an assistant Minneapolis city attorney, and a judicial law clerk to Judge Richard Solum.