Task Force Activities
As the Task Force ramps up for its first full-group meeting, work continues on time-sensitive pandemic related work. Three products have already been completed, and four more are in the works. The three completed resources include two briefs, Providing Court-Connected Behavioral Health Services During the Pandemic: Remote Technology Solutions, and Supporting Vulnerable Populations: Civil Interventions and Diversion for Those with Mental Illness, and a webinar, Addressing Court Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being. The additional pandemic resources will be completed within the next 90 days and featured here in upcoming Behavioral Health Alerts.
Research and Resources
Peer Support Roles Across the Sequential Intercept ModelPolicy Research Associates, Inc. is pleased to release a new tool to the field, Peer Support Roles Across the Sequential Intercept Model. This two-page tool provides an overview of how people with lived experience, or peers, can provide support to individuals in contact with the criminal justice system at each intercept of the Sequential Intercept Model.
The Prevalence of Local Criminal Justice Practices To date, there has been no systematic effort to estimate the extent to which various pretrial practices have been adopted by jurisdictions across the United States. The results presented by the authors here address that deficiency, presenting a nationally representative look at the adoption of more than four dozen practices that affect pretrial populations across local criminal justice systems in the United States, including CIT, co-responders, behavioral health assessment, and jail diversion to treatment.
The Effectiveness of Prison Programming: A Review of the Research Literature Examining the Impact of Federal, State, and Local Inmate Programming on Post-Release Recidivism This review of available research about the recidivism reduction effects of federal, state, and local prison programming is an attempt to determine to what extent such programming can fairly be described as evidence-based. Looking at the available evaluation research on the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) programming, it focuses on the 18 "national model" prison programs identified by BOP and also examines the much larger body of evaluation research conducted on the recidivism reduction effects of state and local prison programs. Short answer, behavioral health treatment programs in prisons have statistically significant but very modest impacts on recidivism.
SJI Funding Toolkit Offers Intensive Federal Grant Application Development Series As part of the State Justice Institute’s (SJI’s) ongoing commitment to support court access to federal grant funds, SJI will select eight courts to participate in a free, three-month intensive federal grant application development series. This virtual training series integrates traditional grant training and technical assistance (TTA) with intensive one-on-one support to assist selected sites in the development of a federal application to be submitted during the FY 2021 grant season.
Healing Minds NOLA Video Archives This current compilation of recent presentations by an impressive array of experts includes the topics Reforming Civil Commitment Laws, Alternatives to Incarceration, and Mental Health versus Mental Illness.
CSG Justice Center's Justice Briefing Telehealth is booming in response to COVID-19; the best ways to work mentoring into reentry programs; and a look into the criminalization of Black girls.
Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative newsletterExperts warn of school-to-prison pipeline rebound; a learning opportunity about creating systems-wide behavioral health diversion; and a new resource for identifying disparities and taking action.
How are Pretrial Service Agencies Dealing with the Coronavirus? COVID-19 policies have had a significant impact on the judiciary, causing courthouse closures, the suspension of jury trials, and the halting or modification of court orders. It has required criminal justice decision makers to swiftly examine their pretrial populations and practices to comply with these modified operations. In this webinar you will hear from decision makers who were responsible for upholding these recommendations. They will share their challenges and experiences in implementing these directives, as well as the opportunities they found for adopting long- term practice changes that focus on maximizing public safety, court appearances, and release of pretrial defendants.
Addressing Racial Equity in Data and Information Sharing Systems among Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Partners In the final discussion group of SAMHSA’s GAINS Center’s Virtual Learning Community (VLC) focused on data and information sharing among criminal justice and behavioral health partners, participants will discuss ideas around creating data sharing systems that support racial equity.
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Weekly Update This edition includes The Behavioral Health System and Its Response to COVID-19, which reviews the adaptations made to the behavioral health system in response to COVID-19 and suggests needed future multidimensional policy and practice considerations.
Now Available in Spanish: Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards NADCP is thrilled to announce the Spanish-language translation of our groundbreaking Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards! Produced in partnership with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), part of the Organization of American States (OAS), these new publications will dramatically expand access to the more than 30 years of empirical research on drug treatment courts distilled in the standards.
Upcoming SAMHSA Webinars SAMHSA's GAINS Center is covering essential topics through its upcoming national webinars and its Virtual Learning Community webinar and discussion group series: Data and Information Sharing and Leveraging Teleservices in Drug Courts to Improve Treatment Access.
SAMHSA’s 2020 National Recovery Month Webinar SeriesNational Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives. Now in its 31st year, Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those living in recovery. Join SAMHSA’s Recovery Month upcoming webinar series.
SAMHSA Headlines Your one-stop source for the latest from SAMHSA.
Trauma-informed, Recovery-oriented System of Care ToolkitSupported by the Indiana Family and Social Service Administration and piloted in 14 Indiana counties, this is a field-informed toolkit developed by the National Council’s foremost experts in shaping recovery-oriented and trauma-informed approaches. It gives actionable guidance to create a framework to implement trauma-informed and recovery focused initiatives, along with scripts, tools, concrete strategies and recommendations for your community.
Creating a Trauma-Informed System of Care: Addressing Individuals, Professionals, and Organizations National Council strategic partner, Relias’ newest e-book will give your organization more understanding of the trauma-informed care framework and how to care for your staff and the people you serve. This e-book will share:
What exactly is trauma and how it affects different populations;
Best practices for addressing trauma with the individuals you serve;
Best practices for addressing trauma in your staff (both clinical and nonclinical); and
How to become a trauma-informed organization, including the key elements of the trauma-informed model of care
CSG Justice Center Justice Briefing Learn how law enforcement can reduce repeat encounters; master the ins & outs of federal funding opportunities; and discover the cost of youth incarceration.
Mental Health & Wellness in the Workplace The Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace Initiative serves to engage HR professionals and people managers in education and training opportunities to build skills in leading mental health and wellness changes in the workplace, to help end the stigma of mental health in professional settings, and to ensure a culture of acceptance and assistance inculcated into the ethos of each workplace.
TAC August Research Roundup Includes data about the prevalence of inpatient psychiatric care, and an overview of specific challenges related to protecting patients in forensic hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Strategies to consider include utilizing videoconferencing for family visits with patients, and for meetings with attorneys, conservators and advocates.
Advancing Integration of General Health in Behavioral Health Settings People with mental illness and substance use disorders have high rates of medical morbidity and mortality, largely due to significant disparities in access to high quality primary and preventive health care. To address this persistent problem, this report was developed to enable behavioral health clinics to plan and implement integration to improve patient outcomes.
How do Individuals with Behavioral Health Conditions Contribute to Physical and Total Healthcare Spending? The study found that across the entire study population, 56.5% of total healthcare costs can be attributed to the 27.3% of individuals in the BH Group ( those with behavioral health diagnosis or needs), and on average, individuals in the BH Group experience higher total healthcare costs than those who are not in the BH Group; however, the costs for behavioral health-specific treatment represent a small share of their overall costs.
Forensic Psychology, Mental Illness, and Military CrimesIncreased mental health concerns have waterlogged the military justice system, increasing the need for forensic psychologists to assist with psychological and criminal matters. In addition, psychological concerns have exacerbated domestic and physical assault, sexual crimes, murders, and other crimes that have increased the volume of military court cases.
Detaining People who are Mentally Ill in Jail: An Analysis of South Dakota's Statutory Provisions Authorizing Involuntary Mental Illness Holds South Dakota is one of five states with a statutory option allowing innocent people experiencing a mental health crises to be detained in jail. South Dakota Codified Laws explicitly authorize jails or juvenile detention centers to be used for pre-hearing custody of individuals on a mental illness hold. (Westlaw link)
Supporting Reentry for People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders: Establishing Recovery Housing The webinar slides and supporting document, Recovery Housing: Best Practices and Suggested Guidelines, are now available for on-demand access.
Catching Up With COSSAP This August issue of Catching Up With COSSAP leads with two articles about the critical role of peer recovery support services (PRSS) during these extraordinary times and about helping individuals build recovery capital to advance along their paths to healing, wellness, and hope.
BHive National Council for Behavioral Health newsletter, including a list of upcoming webinars.
In the News
Inequities in Mental Health Services: It’s Time for a Reckoning and Rectification As the country confronts the coronavirus crisis and the ways it has exposed racism and inequality, it is time for the mental health field to look inwards and reckon with its own shortcomings. Similar to other American institutions and disciplines, racial and socioeconomic inequalities tend to be replicated in the accessibility and appropriateness of treatments offered to vulnerable individuals and families.
California Poised to Become National Leader on Mental Health and Addiction Coverage The bill would significantly expand what treatments are considered medically necessary for health insurance coverage. Current state law requires health plans to cover medically necessary treatment of just nine serious mental illnesses; the new law would expand that coverage to include a much broader array of mental health issues, notably substance use disorder and addiction, among others. The bill’s backers expect it to clear the Legislature this week with bipartisan support, despite strong opposition from the insurance industry.
Should I Call the Police If I See Someone Having A Mental Health Crisis? Read this before you dial 911 during an encounter with someone experiencing severe symptoms of mental illness.
Should I Call 911 if... This follow-up on the story above goes through 16 scenarios and directs the reader to related resources.
If People Reject Care, Then What? How could the state modernize existing statutes without violating the civil and human rights of people already suffering immense pain and indignity? We can start by defining “grave disability” in a more honest and detailed way to make sure it covers those who most need the care. To that end, consistent with judicial opinions, the Legislature should replace the term “grave disability” in the law, changing the criteria for who can be involuntarily treated to include all those “unable to live safely in the community.” Such a standard would allow mental health workers to address the needs of severely ill people who live on the streets despite being unable to adequately care for themselves.
Arizona Crisis System the Equivalent of Everest Base Camp… the Final Climb Still Ahead Today, over 20,000 times per year, officers throughout Maricopa County connect an individual with mobile crisis or drop them off at one of the no-wrong-door crisis receiving centers with a turnaround time of roughly five minutes. No need to call ahead. The police simply drive up to a dedicated law enforcement entrance, introduce the individual in crisis to the receiving team, share any needed paperwork and are back on the street.
Law Enforcement Needs More Money, not Less, to Deal with Mental Health Issues “If you send a social worker out and it turns violent, what happens then? The problem is that law enforcement needs just as much funding, if not more, to get these officers those resources.” Retired New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick co-chairs the Campaign to Change Direction for New Hampshire’s regional effort. Broderick commends the steps Strafford County Sheriff’s Office is taking, as well as the efforts by local police departments and state police to get their members trained.
Crisis Now Partners Share the Need for and Support of the Washington DC International Declaration In most nations, there’s unrelenting inequity in access to care for people experiencing mental health emergencies compared to those deemed physical. Both warrant timely attention, “but it’s much more than that,” says Brian Hepburn, M.D., executive director of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), the lead organization for Crisis Now. People in mental health crisis also must receive “the level of care that best aligns with their needs instead of defaulting to the emergency room or jail.”
The Psychiatrist Will See You Online Now Psychiatry is a special case. Experts had predicted for years that the field’s most intimate treatment — psychotherapy, or the talking cure — was poised to go largely virtual, for many or most patients, forever altering day-to-day practice. In this extraordinary year, they are likely to be proved right.
HHS Releases $1.5 Billion to States, Tribes to Combat Opioid Crisis The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is distributing the first-year funds of its two-year State Opioid Response (SOR) and Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) grant programs. The two programs ultimately will award nearly $3 billion over two years to help states and tribes provide community-level resources for people in need of prevention, treatment and recovery support services.
Child Advocate: Many Kids End Up In Court To Access Mental Health Services Child advocate O’Neill noted that the OCA is seeing a high number of cases of children being drawn into the juvenile courts solely to access services for mental and behavioral health conditions. “Adjudicating children to access services in a system that is not equipped to provide them is constitutionally and practically ineffective and inefficient,” O’Neill said.
Douglas County Rescinds Mobile Command Center Funding, May Use Money for Mental Health Services Douglas County should consider funding a new mental health crisis program with the $1.85 million it had previously allocated for a sheriff’s mobile command center, a County Board member said. Borgeson wants to look into starting a mobile mental health crisis response team program like the Eugene, Oregon-based CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets).
Southern Utah Law Enforcement Discusses Mental Illness Calls, Training, Funding with Congressman Stewart Many of the sheriffs and police chiefs in attendance Wednesday said that one of the best ways to deal with mental health incidents and learn de-escalation practices is through proper and consistent training. However, for rural counties and communities in particular, funding and manpower can be an issue.
Orange County Should Prioritize Mental Health Over More Jail Space A central tenet of modern psychology is that punishments for wrong behavior do not help improve behaviors.
Rewarding desired behaviors is what leads to improvements. But officers at the jail rely almost exclusively on punishment for unacceptable behavior. Instead of helping the inmate with mental illness improve his or her behavior, they punish, often by consigning the individual to solitary confinement — and the time in solitary exacerbates their mental illness and makes their prognosis and recidivism rates dire.
STRESS TEST: Mental Health Care Services Pushed to Brink Amid COVID-19 “When COVID-19 came around we didn’t want to have people coming into the office to increase their risk, so we actually got telemedicine started off pretty, pretty quickly,” said Dr. Geoffry Harris, a fourth year resident at the hospital who previously saw lots of patients in person. “It’s one of those things where we can’t believe it. I think it may have changed outpatient work for probably forever. You can’t really un-ring that bell.”
Michigan is Experiencing a Surge in Mental Health Demands In lieu of a robust crisis system, law enforcement has had to become the stop-gap, but it puts officers in the role of crisis provider when it should be mental health professionals providing care. Law enforcement sometimes need to clear the scene before a social worker can enter it but that the arrival of law enforcement in and of itself can “escalate the situation” for a person in crisis. What the state needs is more mobile crisis teams for police departments to partner with, allowing officers to deploy teams when they get a call from or encounter a person in crisis.
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