SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation uses its Virtual Learning Community (VLC) model to deeply explore topics of interest to the field centered around a common theme. VLCs are composed of a series of webinars, small discussion groups, and webinar supporting materials. These communities are open to the field at no cost to the participant.
Each webinar provides an opportunity to hear from national experts and state representatives. The presenters offer guidance on best and promising practices as well as practical lessons learned from on-the-ground experience. For updates on future opportunities, join the GAINS Center mailing list.
Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 VLCs
This series addresses enhancing systems responses for people with mental and substance use disorders who are justice-involved or at risk for justice involvement. Topics include the following:
- Strategies for addressing treatment engagement challenges with certain individuals
- Addressing the critical need for housing and strategies to overcome barriers to improve housing access
- Integrating forensic assertive community treatment (FACT) teams into early diversion response
- Developing and maintaining collaborative relationships with law enforcement that survive changing times
- Supporting safety through 911 and crisis call line integration
This series included the following events:
- Where Are We Now? Recent Developments and Emerging Opportunities
- Planning for Teleservices—Assessing Needs and Identifying Opportunities
- Implementing Teleservices for Court Proceedings and Treatment
In this series, experts speak about a variety of topics related to the role of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in drug courts, including the following:
- Addressing the concerns of court staff about MAT
- Overcoming barriers to social integration for MAT participants
- Introducing the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) MOUD toolkit
Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 VLCs
Developing a Crisis Response System for Criminal Justice-Involved Individuals with Behavioral Health Disorders
In this series, attendees learned innovative ways to ensure community crisis services are robust and effective. Webinar topics in this series included the following:
- Designing a Law Enforcement-Friendly Crisis Service [YouTube]
- Integrated Mental Health and Physical Health Mobile Crisis Response [YouTube]
- Peer Respites as a Voluntary Alternative to the Emergency Department and Other Crisis Services [YouTube]
Data and Information-Sharing Across Behavioral Health, Health, and Criminal Justice
In this series, attendees learned practical ways to use data to improve the outcomes of people with mental and/or substance use disorders who come into contact with the criminal justice system. Webinar topics for this series included:
- Getting Started: Essential Measures for Data & Information Sharing Across the SIM [YouTube]
- Data Sharing among Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Partners: Addressing Data Sharing Agreements & Confidentiality Concerns [YouTube]
- Data Sharing among Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Partners: Mechanisms and Platforms for Efficient Data and Information Sharing [YouTube]
Webinar topics in this series included the following:
- Transform to Teleservices, Part 1: Expanding Access to Substance Use Disorder Treatment in Drug Courts
- Transform to Teleservices, Part 2—Innovative Approaches to Substance Use Disorder Treatment Happening Now in Drug Courts
FY 2019 VLCs
Advancing Early Diversion
This series highlighted data and information sharing in the early intercepts of the Sequential Intercept Model, follow-up strategies to improve treatment engagement, models of engaging emergency medical services in an early diversion initiative, and effective joint responses between law enforcement and mental health professionals.
This series explored how supported employment could be used to enhance an individual’s recovery process. The webinar series explored the importance of employment in the recovery process, real-life success stories of individuals using a supported employment model, financing strategies to support a SE program, and overcoming common barriers to employment.
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