NCSC Behavioral Health eLearning Series

Task Force and Task Force Member Activities

NCSC Behavioral Health eLearning Series The State Court Behavioral Health Series is designed to educate judges and court personnel about some of the critical issues related to behavioral health in four modules. The series focuses on both the recognition of those who might be experiencing mental illness as well as how to best respond in various situations. Modules include trauma informed courtrooms and empathetic leadership in Family Courts. Task Force member Arizona Chief Justice Brutinel provides introductions to each of the modules. Thank you to the Arizona Courts for sharing this work with the national court community.

CCJ and COSCA Adopt a Resolution Supporting Task Force Initiative At their annual meeting in August, CCJ and COSCA jointly adopted Resolution 5, In Support of UPSTREAM: Strengthening Children and Families through Prevention and Intervention Strategies: A Court and Community Based Approach and the National Upstream Consortium. “Because many state courts have expressed an interest in bringing Upstream to their states and communities, the NCSC has proposed the creation of a National Upstream Consortium to provide strategic assistance to state court leaders, train facilitators to conduct child welfare community mapping, develop prevention and intervention strategies, and promote peer-to-peer learning.” Contact Nora Sydow for additional information

National Judicial Task Force & APF Launch New MOUD e-Course As court systems continue to grapple with an increasing number of cases that involve individuals with substance use disorder, judges can prioritize treatment and access to care, and offer evidence-informed solutions to reduce substance use and recidivism. This course was developed by JCOIN and the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness to help educate judges and court staff on the FDA-approved medications to treat opioid use disorder and their effectiveness for people involved with the criminal justice system. Thank you, Chief Justice Rush, for your inspiring opening remarks on this module.

CCBHCs and the Justice System Report At the request of the Education Partnerships Implementation Work Group, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing published this report for the national court community. The Report describes how courts can reach out to Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) in their community to strengthen the array of treatment and supports available to court involved individuals. A special acknowledgement goes to Mr. Brett Beckerson for his outstanding work in preparing this report. Please email with CCBHC questions or Patti Tobias on how courts can reach out to CCBHCs. Stay tuned for additional work in this area.

Research and Resources

Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative News and Resources Includes a description of and link to the recent Task Force Report, as well as How Stepping Up Innovator Counties Serve as Local Justice System Models, and Resources for Diversion from Jail.

Trauma-Informed Courts Promote Access to Justice The prevalence of trauma exposure among individuals who are justice involved is evidenced in an unpublished study funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Mandated Community Treatment. Researchers surveyed 311 mental health court participants and found that 67 percent of women and 73 percent of men reported experiencing physical abuse as a child; 70 percent of women and 25 percent of men reported experiencing sexual abuse or rape before the age of 20. Merely being entangled in the court system can signal trauma exposure.

Mental Health Professionals’ Guide to Their Role in the Criminal Justice System: A Quick Reference Pocket Guide for Mental Health Professionals The American Psychiatric Association Foundation has produced a new resource to help mental health professionals better support community members facing mental health challenges, Mental Health Professionals Guide to Their Role in the Criminal Justice System: A Quick Reference Pocket Guide for Mental Health Professionals. The resource is the culmination of work from a collaboration of psychiatrists and justice leaders. The Guide includes an overview of the criminal justice system and specific roles mental health professionals can play in supporting community members at different stages of the system.

Reimagining Crisis Response: 988 and a Crisis Standard of Care In this SAMHSA and APA webinar, learn about the status of 988 implementation and how mental health organizations are working at the federal, state, and local levels to build a stronger crisis response system.

Cops, Clinicians, or Both? Collaborative Approaches to Responding to Behavioral Health Emergencies This policy paper reviews best practices for law enforcement (LE) crisis response, outlines the components of a comprehensive continuum of crisis care that provides alternatives to LE involvement and ED utilization, and provides strategies for collaboration and alignment towards common goals. Finally, policy considerations regarding legal statutes, financing, data management, and stakeholder engagement are presented in order to assist communities interested in taking steps to build these needed solutions.

Bureau of Justice Assistance's Academic Training to Inform Police Responses Initiative Crisis Response for Rural Communities—Using Technology and Peer Support to Meet People in Crisis, Where They Are This webinar will feature two programs that have adapted crisis response for use in rural communities. Panelists will present the innovative approaches in crisis response implemented by their programs and discuss the challenges of ensuring the needs of individuals in crisis who live in rural communities are met. Additionally, the Academic Training project team will highlight key resources to support rural communities developing and implementing crisis response in their jurisdiction.

TAC Research Weekly: Individuals with Early Episode Psychosis May Have Unique Treatment Needs There are differences in symptoms and treatment outcomes for those experiencing their first episode of psychosis early in life compared to those experiencing an episode of psychosis later in life.  Individuals who experience early episode psychosis (EEP) were more likely to visit the emergency department for mental health related issues and to have an inpatient psychiatric hospital stay than those with late episode psychosis (LEP), according to research published in Psychiatric Services this month.

Update: SAMHSA Training and Technical Assistance Related To COVID-19 SAMHSA is committed to providing regular training and technical assistance (TTA) on matters related to the mental and substance use disorder field as they deal with COVID-19. Our TA programs are delivering great resources during this time. View the updated available TTA resources to assist with the current situation.

The High Cost of Mental Health Disorders: A Blueprint for Employer Action to Implement Cost-Effective Care Solutions The Business Costs of Mental Disorders, a 2017 One Mind at Work analysis, found that mental health conditions are prevalent across all occupations—not just limited to a few industries or work environments. And though illnesses like depression are very common, many employees do not seek treatment. Those who do seek care often fail to receive the best treatment available – leading to high healthcare and out of pocket costs, lost productivity, and human suffering. Adding to these challenges, physical illness often accompanies mental illness, which further harms wellbeing, raises costs, and makes successful treatment more difficult.

Save the Date: National Leadership Conference 2021 Join us November 4-5 for the Addiction Policy Forum Virtual 2021 National Leadership Conference. The annual National Leadership Conference gathers Addiction Policy Forum’s network of patients, families and grassroots leaders from across the country together for two days to build attendees’ leadership skills and knowledge around the latest science, innovations and strategies to address addiction.

Reminder to register for the National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice's virtual Mental Health Training for Juvenile Justice (MHT-JJ) Train-the-Trainer (T3) event Developed for juvenile probation, detention, and corrections professionals, the MHT-JJ provides critical information and practical strategies for interacting with youth who are experiencing mental health, substance use, and traumatic stress conditions.

New APA Conference on Addressing Disparities in Care SMI Adviser is proud to partner with American Psychiatric Association on this exciting virtual conference. It empowers you with new knowledge to enhance and advance care for individuals who have serious mental illness (SMI). Attend inspiring sessions. Hear national experts. Join colleagues from psychiatry, nursing, social work, and more. And find guidance on how to address structural barriers to quality mental health care. Includes an Opening Plenary Session with Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

New Course on Mixed Methods Research Design Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) is sponsoring LEAP Learner: Mixed Methods, an interactive course that provides an introduction to mixed method research designs and applications in health and justice settings. Understanding different research designs is important for determining how to best answer your research questions and determine which types of data to collect.

COSSAP Webinar: State Efforts to Address Substance Use Disorder Treatment Needs for Individuals on Community Supervision This webinar will include a detailed presentation on the National Governor’s Association’s (NGA) and RTI International’s work to support states in identifying and addressing barriers to treatment for justice-involved individuals in the community and in the development of their Community Supervision and Treatment of Individuals With Substance Use Disorder policy briefs.

New Featured CSG Publications Advancing the Work of Peer Support Specialists, Criminal Justice-Behavioral Health Partnership Resources, Criminal Justice-Behavioral Health Partnership Resources, and more.

OJP Communications Weekly Digest Bulletin Includes BJA funding opportunities, funding application tips, and other BJA news.

PRA eNews News about Maryland’s new Behavioral Health and Public Safety Center of Excellence, upcoming PRA webinars, and Enhancing Equity resources.

@ the Center: Training increases judges’ understanding of opioid use disorder Judges who received opioid use disorder (OUD) training are more likely to view OUD as a chronic disease and a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to a recently released report. The training also led more judges to conclude that funding should be increased for those who benefit from court-ordered OUD services.

NASMHPD News and Resources Learning opportunities and behavioral health resources.

Catching Up with COSSAP Prearrest Diversion: Addressing the SUD-Mental Illness Link; Improving Public Perception of PRSS (peer recovery support services): Combating Resistance, Bias, and Fear; and other articles and resources.

Capitol Connector Links to a CCBHC webinar recording, Hill Day at Home, and Budget Resolution Passed.

In the News

Illinois Supreme Court hires first statewide behavioral health administrator The Illinois Supreme Court has hired Scott Block to serve as the state’s first Statewide Behavioral Health Administrator. Block will serve as the Illinois Judicial Branch’s dedicated mental health voice and resource, committed to furthering local, state, and national behavioral health and justice initiatives that affect the courts. In this capacity, he will act as the project director of the Illinois Supreme Court Mental Health Task Force and provide professional guidance on the Illinois Courts’ response to behavioral health issues that intersect with the justice system.

California high court upholds faster mental health care transfers for unfit defendants California defendants deemed unfit to stand trial will no longer be allowed to languish in jail for months without treatment after the California Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a previous court ruling banning the delays as unconstitutional. the California Supreme Court rejected the state’s latest appeal in the case, meaning California must now comply with the March 2019 order requiring it to send unfit-for-trial defendants to treatment within 28 days. The waitlist for mentally incompetent defendants to be transferred from jail to treatment centers has grown by over 500% over the last eight years, according to the ACLU of Northern California.

Why Partnering With 911 and First Responders Is Crucial to the Success of 988 As communities explore ways to divert behavioral health and quality of life crises from law enforcement, they’re also asking when and how to best collaborate with police in the safest and least restrictive way for people in distress. This shift is necessary for people overall, says Dr. Margie Balfour, chief of quality and clinical innovation at Connections Health Solutions, but especially for those most at risk of police interactions turning deadly.

NJ Supreme Court releases 'Equal Justice' year-one report showing 'measurable benefits' One year after it released its "Action Plan for Ensuring Equal Justice," the New Jersey Supreme Court released a progress report on its racial justice efforts and a list of nine more changes it plans to pursue in the second year of its historic reforms. Continuing a process begun in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the court said it’s pursuing a raft of additional reforms including mandatory implicit bias training for court staff, expanding access to legal representation and greater safeguards for those with mental illness who become involved with the legal system.

CSG Justice Center's State of Justice How Washington’s new laws on use of force have changed law enforcement training; Lawmakers in Massachusetts call for reforms to civil forfeiture after investigation; The Pennsylvania justice system often fails autistic people—can activists and judges bring reform?

First peer-run respite opens as alternative to hospitalization for people in mental health distress The peer-run respite facility is free to participants and is designed to be a completely voluntary alternative for people who would otherwise seek mental health crisis care through the emergency room and possibly be involuntarily committed to a hospital.

Has central Vermont found the solution to policing mental health? The stakes are high. A 2020 VTDigger analysis of police use of fatal force in Vermont over the past decade found that at least a quarter of them involved a Vermonter having a mental health crisis. A new system is emerging in Vermont: The use of mental health clinicians who work with police to intervene with people in crisis. Many police departments across the state have partnerships with local mental health agencies, but very few have a social worker or counselor in their department.

Turning the Page on Mental Health New York’s next mayor should work with public and private partners and expand supervision. New York will never get anywhere on mental health while the mayor is expected to do it all and do it alone. Addressing untreated serious mental illness, and the violence that too often attends it, is not the sole responsibility of city government. The election of a new mayor makes possible a reset on mental health, one that should entail a judicious rebalancing of the obligations of the mayor and city council, the state and federal government, and the nonprofit sector.

Transforming HHS with Whole Person Service Service delivery and the individual experience within health and human services (HHS) is often very siloed and fragmented. Whole Person Service is about addressing challenges at both the individual and community level that may lead someone to need ongoing assistance from health and human services programs. It’s an approach that encompasses a set of coordinated services that holistically address an individual’s physical, mental and socioeconomic well-being. It also seeks to restore and sustain that person’s self-sufficiency.

Overdose is a Cry for Help Earlier this month there was news that over 90 people overdosed on synthetic marijuana laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl at a park in New Haven, Conn. Thankfully, no one died of an overdose that day due to the quick response from emergency personnel. Such stories remind us that people across the country are struggling with addiction to illicit substances and opioid-based pain medications. In 2017, the lives of over 72,000 Americans ended prematurely due to overdose, which is now the leading cause of death for people under 50 years old.

Now More than Ever, Employers Must Provide Mental Health Support for Employees A recent report by consulting firm McKinsey found that workers are most concerned about returning to work sites due to health and safety risks related to Covid-19. One-third of respondents said their return to work has had a negative impact on their mental health. Almost half of those who have not yet returned anticipate negative mental health impacts.  It’s never been more important or more apparent that employers must acknowledge the anxiety of workers and take steps to help employees cope with the enormous stress and strain caused with returning to work while the pandemic continues to pose a risk.

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