The foundation of the MindSet Training Program was the successful implementation of the Prevention and Management of Aggressive Behavior (PMAB 1991) training program at a 61-bed specialty psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents in Atlanta, GA. The PMAB program, developed by the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, accomplished a significant reduction in both staff and client injuries since it was first piloted in 1983. In 1995, as Safety Director at Hillside Hospital, Marshall Siler was asked to seek out a training program that would better meet the needs of both staff and clients in an increasingly volatile work environment. PMAB was selected primarily because of its superior restraint techniques and the documented success that had been established in Texas.
Within two months, the entire 125 Hillside staff members transitioned from the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI 1987) model to PMAB. After a year, we learned that it was not the superior physical restraint techniques that created a safer environment. Instead, it was a change in mindset by both the staff and clients that directed Hillside down a path toward creating a culture of prevention. The staff began to offer more pro-action than reaction. The clients experienced more choice and empowerment both during and after crisis situations. More consistency, accountability, and a sense of teamwork was experienced among staff and clients. Far fewer power struggles and instances of punitive measures occurred.
The transition was gradual and certainly did not happen overnight. It was a process instigated by the training that had to be consistently monitored, managed and prioritized. At Hillside, the frequency of restraints and instances of seclusion decreased, while effective communication increased.
In the fall of 1997, with the support of Larry Hampton (the creator of the PMAB program), Siler left Hillside to establish MindSet Consulting Services. His goal was to market the PMAB program to a variety of mental health organizations through the instructor certification process. He was eager to make available to a variety of mental health organizations what he had learned at Hillside. What he didn't forsee was the demand for training within educational institutions as well. In 2004, feedback from over 60 different PMAB workshops lead Siler to develop the MindSet Training Curriculum.