Participating in the judicial system can be traumatic and stressful. Mediation is a tool used for resolving many judicial matters, thus mediators often encounter disputants experiencing the worst time of their lives. With this in mind, Texas Dispute Resolution System™ (TDRS) began a process to enhance their mediators’ skills and knowledge when engaging disputants during their traumatic journey. Unfortunately, this nationwide search identified very few resources. As such, TDRS endeavored to fill this void.
With extensive collaboration with the National Center of State Courts and the generous funding from the State Justice Institute, TDRS provided a national 6-hour webinar in July 2021 with dynamic speakers from across the United States. The knowledge gleaned from these speakers was instrumental in developing the “Mental Health and Mediation Best Practices Handbook”, a first of its kind. This Handbook is now available to all mediators with the intent to continue assisting mediators in improving and building their toolboxes. The handbook is available online via the National Center for State Courts website at Mediation and Mental Health Best Practices Handbook – Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – National Center for State Courts (oclc.org). TDRS welcomes feedback and ideas on how to expand this educational resource. Emails may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.