Early Diversion Virtual Learning Community

SAMHSA’s GAINS Center has announced its Early Diversion Virtual Learning Community, a five-part series on enhancing systems responses for people with mental and substance use disorders who are justice-involved or at risk for justice involvement. Open-format discussion groups will allow webinar participants to take a deeper dive into the material and pose questions to the speakers. Information on dates and registration will be posted below as it becomes available; you can also stay up to date by signing up for the GAINS Center mailing list.

Part 1: Strategies for Addressing Treatment Engagement Challenges with Certain Individuals

March 25, 2021, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET; discussion group 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET

Many communities face challenges engaging certain individuals in treatment. These individuals cycle through homelessness, incarceration, and crisis services. The question arises, are we speaking of individuals who are resistant to services or services that are resistant to these individuals? While there is no “one size fits all” approach, there are specific strategies, services, and practices that communities have developed to address the support needs of individuals who have difficulty engaging in services. These strategies include care coordination, targeted case management, data-driven responses, motivational interviewing, peer-based responses, and trauma-informed services. Presenters will address multi-faceted approaches to improve individual outcomes and system response.


  • Steve Miccio, CEO, People USA, Poughkeepsie, New York
  • Mark Giuliano, M.S.W., Director of Community Support, Department of Community Mental Health, Westchester County, New York

Click here to register for the webinar and the discussion group taking place immediately afterward.


Part 2: Addressing the Critical Need for Housing and Strategies to Overcome Barriers to Improve Housing Access

Date to be announced; join the GAINS Center mailing list to stay updated on event announcements and registration.

Housing is a critical need for individuals experiencing homelessness who are in crisis and at risk for justice involvement. Services alone cannot address the overwhelming disruption homelessness constitutes to well-being and health. Barriers to accessing housing include criminalization of homelessness, lack of partnership development, funding issues, and myths and realities of housing access. Presenters will address comprehensive strategies to improve housing access, which is key to early diversion.


After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify ways to address common barriers to obtaining housing for people participating in early diversion programs
  • “Mythbust” common misunderstandings about housing for people with mental and substance use disorders who are justice-involved or at risk for justice involvement
  • Identify strategies to improve access to housing for those in early diversion programs

Join the GAINS Center mailing list to stay updated on event announcements and registration.


Parts 3-5: To Be Announced

Behavioral health, Co-occurring disorders, Criminal justice, Diversion, GAINS, Mental Illness