The Stepping Up initiative encourages counties to track data along Four Key Measures, including connecting people who have serious mental illness (SMI) to treatment and other services after discharge from jail. Communities across the country are looking for information on how to best facilitate connection to care for individuals with SMI. With the current expansion of telehealth, there is a need to discuss best approaches, other ways to connect to care, and to share tips and strategies from counties.
Counties across the country have committed to creating data-driven, systems-level plans to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in their jails. As part of these efforts, many communities are focusing on the small number of people who frequently cycle in and out of emergency rooms, shelters, crisis services, and the justice system, a population that disproportionately contributes to the high utilization of these resources.
Counties across the country are building collaborative partnerships to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in their jails. Despite the progress that counties have made, they still face challenges with sharing information across multiple systems, limiting their success in identifying people involved in these systems, coordinating services and supervision, and tracking the impact of their efforts.
Mentally ill people are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. Law enforcement officers and jail staff must deal regularly with people who have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental illnesses.
People living with mental illnesses (MI) and intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are disproportionately represented in contacts with police, which can lead to stressful and dangerous conditions for everyone involved. Now, through Serving Safely: The National Initiative to Enhance Policing for Persons with Mental Illnesses and Developmental Disabilities, law enforcement agencies can request help to respond safely and effectively to incidents involving persons with MI and I/DD.