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Samhsa's Gains Center for Behaviorial Health and Justice Transformation

Samhsa's Gains Center for Juvenile Health and Justice Transformation | JDTR | ATCC | MHTG | ADULT MHCS | JUVENILE MHCS | TOPICAL RESOURCES | PEER RESOURCES | TRAUMA TRAINING

July 2013


• 7 Common Characteristics of Juvenile Mental Health Courts

• National Dialogue on Mental Health

• An Innovative Program Model for Mental Health Clinic Services for Correctional Reentry Populations: The Fortune Society’s Better Living Center

• Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal Call for Papers: Special Issue Co-Occurring Mental and Substance Use Disorders in the Criminal Justice System

• New Vera Institute of Justice Website: Justice and Health Connect

• MHTG Learning Communities


How do you incorporate recovery-oriented principles in therapeutic services/environments?


NCCHC Correctional Mental Health Care Conference
July 21-22, 2013
Las Vegas, NV

Behavioral Healthcare Leadership Summit & National Conference on Addiction Disorders
September 21-23, 2013
Anaheim, CA

CIT Annual International Conference
October 14-16, 2013
Hartford, CT

American Public Health Association 2013 Annual Meeting
November 2-6, 2013
Boston, MA

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 29th Annual Meeting
November 7-9, 2013
Philadelphia, PA


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7 Common Characteristics of Juvenile Mental Health Courts

Juvenile Mental Health Courts (JMHCs) are among the justice diversion programs available in some communities with approximately 53 in existence nationwide. JMHCs are specialty dockets within the juvenile court that combine intensive treatment with supervision while holding the youth, guardian, and community responsible for program outcomes. Based on a National Institute of Justice-funded study by Policy Research Associates, “7 Common Characteristics of Juvenile Mental Health Courts” is now available on the GAINS Center website. This report is based on a national survey of all JMHCs in the US; site visits, stakeholder interviews, observations of court proceedings, and focus groups; and extensive interviews of participants and their guardians. This document is a broad blueprint for communities to consider while planning for or evaluating a JMHC.

National Dialogue on Mental Health

National Conference on Mental Health

On June 3rd, President Obama and Vice President Biden hosted the National Conference on Mental Health as part of the Administration's efforts to launch a national conversation to increase understanding and awareness of mental health. The conference brought together people from across the country, including representatives from state and local governments, mental health advocates, educators, health care providers, faith leaders, and individuals who have struggled with mental health problems, to discuss how we can all work together to reduce stigma and help the millions of Americans struggling with mental health problems recognize the importance of reaching out for assistance. To view a video recording of the conference, please visit: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/219583.

President Obama at the National Conference on Mental Health

Mental Health Resources and Sharing

The Department of Health and Human Services' new website MentalHealth.gov contains information on what mental health is, how to recognize mental illness, and provides resources for beginning the conversation about mental health. The website provides links to the MentalHealth.gov social media pages which help to aggregate and share information about mental health.


MentalHealth.gov Twitter page:
Use #MentalHealthMatters to join the conversation


MentalHealth.gov Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MentalHealth.gov


MentalHealth.gov Storify page:

Use #MentalHealthMatters to share your posts with MentalHealth.gov


MentalHealth.gov YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrl7E8KABz1GOyx_HDSqmwfrq8j_THXgg


An Innovative Program Model for Mental Health Clinic Services for Correctional Reentry Populations: The Fortune Society’s Better Living Center

Policy Research Associates (PRA) receives funding from the Langeloth Foundation to carry out Maximizing the Impact of the Langeloth Foundation’s Behavioral Health – Criminal Justice Portfolio. Through this project, PRA is developing targeted technical assistance products that incorporate and synthesize the models, strategies, tools, and lessons learned by the projects supported by the Foundation. Following the GAINS model, PRA is working off of the successful acronym (Gather information, Assess what works, Integrate the facts, Network, and Stimulate systemic change) to enhance the effectiveness of Foundation-supported projects through the dissemination and distillation of appropriate products and resources.

PRA worked with The Fortune Society in New York City to maximize their mental health clinic called the Better Living Center (BLC). The BLC is the only New York State Office of Mental Health–licensed Article 31 mental health clinic with services tailored specifically to the unique and complex needs of the justice-involved population. As a licensed provider, the BLC treats anyone with a history of court involvement who presents signs of mental illness. PRA worked with The Fortune Society to develop a program brief, An Innovative Program Model for Mental Health Clinic Services for Correctional Reentry Populations: The Fortune Society’s Better Living Center. This new brief is available on the reentry topical resources tab on the GAINS Center’s website. To request hard copies of this publication, please contact gains@prainc.com.

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal Call for Papers: Special Issue Co-Occurring Mental and Substance Use Disorders in the Criminal Justice System

The editors of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal are soliciting papers for a special issue that will be devoted to the topic of co-occurring mental and substance use disorders (CODs) in the criminal justice system. High quality research is sought on the relationship between CODs and crime, evidence-based treatment and supervision of offenders with CODs, risk assessment involving CODs, and community reentry from jails and prison. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal is particularly interested in manuscripts that examine the nexus between CODs and violence, including epidemiological studies, prospective or longitudinal outcome studies, typologies related to violence and CODs, CODs and gun violence, and research (e.g., using mixed methods) to clarify how persons with CODs enter, are processed and receive services, exit the criminal justice system, and transition to the community. Manuscripts are also welcome that address CODs and psychiatric rehabilitation and related interventions in jails, prisons, and community corrections and court-based settings. Authors will be asked to provide a discussion of both clinical applications and the policy impact of their research.

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal Cover

Guest Editors Roger H. Peters, Ph.D., Professor of Mental Health Law and Policy, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida; Harry K. Wexler, Ph.D., Senior Principal Investigator Emeritus, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., and Assistant Professor at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; and Arthur J. Lurigio, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Faculty, College of Arts and Sciences, Professor and Faculty Scholar in the Department of Criminology and Department of Psychology, and Director, Center for the Advancement of Research, Training and Education at the Loyola University - Chicago will oversee the special issue.

All papers will be peer reviewed, and should be submitted through the Manuscript Submission Portal, under the “Instructions to Authors” at http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/prj. Submissions should follow the standard guidelines for PRJ. Please state in the cover letter that the manuscript is to be considered for publication for the special issue on co-occurring disorders in the criminal justice system. The deadline for submission of papers is September 15, 2013, with the plan to publish the special issue in 2014.

New Vera Institute of Justice Website: Justice and Health Connect

Justice and Health Connect

People involved in the criminal justice system have significantly higher rates of behavioral and physical health problems than the general population. For example, the rate of serious mental illness among incarcerated persons is estimated to be more than three times higher than in the general population.

Adding to these challenges is the fact that these persons and others involved in justice systems have limited access to healthcare both inside facilities and in the communities to which they are released. A historical lack of coordination between justice and health agencies exacerbates these issues even further. Consequently, people with drug and alcohol use disorders, mental illness, and other chronic diseases routinely fail to get the treatment that they need. Research shows that increasing access to treatment can address health disparities, reduce costs, and lower re-arrest rates.

To help close this communication gap and increase information sharing between justice and health authorities, The Vera Institute of Justice’s Substance Use and Mental Health Program (SUMH) launched the Justice and Health Connect (JH Connect) website www.jhconnect.org. This initiative was made possible with support from the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), which promotes information sharing solutions for state, local, and Tribal authorities. To that end, JH Connect provides a series of resources with the aim of increasing agencies’ abilities to share data between community health and justice systems in a confidential, legal, and ethical way. The goal is to better serve people with behavioral and other health needs who come into contact with justice systems.

Among the features of the site are a series of “myth-busters” that dispel common misperceptions and provide tools to address such issues as:

• How legal regulations such as HIPAA do not always prevent clinicians and public health agencies from sharing personal health information with criminal justice agencies
• How small jurisdictions can access affordable data systems or the technology needed to conduct information sharing
• How community health providers can share information with justice providers in ways that adequately protect patient privacy, preserve clinician-patient trust, and minimize adverse consequences

The website features a wide range of practical materials, including a toolkit for designing information sharing initiatives, an extensive resource library, policy briefs, legal memos, templates, and webinars. These resources offer guidance on the type of data exchanges that are legally permissible, outline their potential ethical pitfalls, and highlight promising practices that maximize benefits to clients while reducing costs. The site is a repository for existing resources and guidelines based on case studies of promising initiatives and guidance from experts in the field. These materials are designed for a diverse audiences and jurisdictions with the goal of better serving the justice population that has behavioral and other healthcare needs. To explore JH Connect, visit http://www.jhconnect.org.

MHTG Learning Communities

In the absence of the Mental Health Transformation Grant (MHTG) 2013 Annual Grantee Meeting, SAMHSA is pleased to bring the 20 grantees together virtually in order to network across the MHTG community. The two technical assistance centers responsible for supporting the work of the MHTG program, SAMHSA’s GAINS Center and BRSS TACS, are currently coordinating topically-based Learning Communities (LCs).

Learning Communities consist of a series of calls that are focused on a pre-determined topic area. Each LC is participant-driven, allowing the focus of the discussion to evolve based on participant priorities and information exchange. In addition, LCs usually feature participation by expert consultants to focus on particular issues. Expert consultants have included Amy Colesante of the Mental Health Empowerment Project, Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey’s Peggy Swarbrick, and Community Connections’ Roger Fallot.

The LCs provide grantees with the opportunity to expand participation to a wider audience than just those individuals who would have attended the annual grantee meeting. Ongoing LC calls will allow multiple stakeholders including project directors, evaluators, peers, program coordinators and staff, clinicians, advisory board members, etc., to participate, share information, discuss challenges and strategize about solutions with their fellow MHTG community members.       
LC calls are facilitated using both audio and video software, allowing grantees to join the virtual rooms via webcam for a more interactive experience. The LCs have seen diverse grant participation since the initial call in April.

A list of ongoing LC calls is included below.    

Supported Employment: 2nd Monday of the month
Supportive Housing: 4th Tuesday of the month
Trauma-Informed Care & Trauma-Specific Interventions: 4th Thursday of the month
Peer Leadership/Integration: 4th Wednesday of the month
Evaluation: TBD

SAMHSA's GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Disclaimer: SAMHSA's GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation develops and distributes E-News with support from SAMHSA. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of SAMHSA.

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