SAMHSA’s GAINS Center

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Leah Pope, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Vera Institute of Justice David Shern, PhD, Senior Public Health Advisor, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors The National Institute of Mental Health Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) project demonstrated the effectiveness of coordinated specialty care (CSC) programs for serving persons with a first episode… Read More


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Victor Ray Armstrong, MSW, Vice President-Behavioral Health, Behavioral Health Charlotte, Atrium Health, Charlotte, North Carolina One of the remaining taboos in many communities of color is the stigma around mental illness. Whether it’s depression or anxiety (or, the worst-case scenario, suicide), there is a longstanding belief in these communities that such concerns are taboo, and… Read More


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Julie McLafferty, MA  | Project Assistant, Policy Research Associates, Inc. Whether working inside a correctional facility or coordinating a transition for an individual on release, understanding the basics around benefits is the first step to ensuring continuity of care for individuals with a serious mental illness or medical impairment. Intentional discharge planning from incarceration back… Read More


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Leah Pope, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Vera Institute of Justice David Shern, Ph.D., Senior Public Health Advisor, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Shortening the duration of untreated psychosis for individuals experiencing their first episode of psychosis (FEP) is essential. Linking these individuals to evidence-based programs that specialize in treating these conditions has… Read More


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Professor of Psychology | John Jay College of Criminal Justice – City University of New York | The Graduate Center – City University of New York | www.kevinnadal.com Q: A lot of your work focuses on the mental health of individuals from marginalized groups, including people of color and LGBTQ people. What is a key finding… Read More


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SAMHSA’s GAINS Center is pleased to announce the awardees of the five 2019 Criminal Justice Learning Collaboratives! Each Learning Collaborative will bring together six local teams for an intensive learning, strategic planning, and implementation process to address local issues and needs within a given topic area. SAMHSA’s Eight Guiding Principles for Behavioral Health and Criminal… Read More


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Matthew W. Epperson, PhD, MSW; Associate Professor, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration; Director, Smart Decarceration Project (hyperlink: www.smartdecarceration.org); Twitter: @sdpUChicago Probation serves the largest segment of the criminal justice-involved population. Despite diversion  efforts that target early criminal justice (CJ) intercept points—aiming to direct people to appropriate mental health services instead of justice… Read More


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Forward Justice describes itself as a “law, policy, and strategy center dedicated to advancing racial, social, and economic justice.” Forward Justice has garnered a remarkable amount of support at the grassroots level, with dedicated individuals mobilizing together to form a coalition for social change. To what extent is shifting the narrative around incarceration essential to… Read More


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Leah Pope, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Vera Institute of Justice David Shern, PhD, Senior Public Health Advisor, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors The criminal justice system can play a central role in reducing the morbidity and disability of first episode psychosis (FEP). First episode psychosis is the first onset of a condition affecting… Read More


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2nd Vice President, CIT International Board of Directors 1. You serve in both a leadership role and as an instructor assisting jurisdictions in developing crisis intervention team programming and providing crisis de-escalation training for law enforcement officers. What advice can you offer to communities taking the first steps in strengthening the local behavioral health crisis… Read More


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By Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D., Williams Distinguished Senior Scholar for Public Policy, Williams Institute, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law; Adjunct Professor, Community Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health; and Professor Emeritus of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health In a 2017 analysis of data from the National Inmate Survey—a… Read More