Criminal Justice & Behavioral Health Committee aims for systemic change
Stephanie Welch- CHAIR
The Criminal Justice & Behavioral Health Work Group monitors and assesses key policy issues regarding the intersection of criminal justice and behavioral health systems. We work to support one of CCMH's key objectives: to reduce the incarceration of individuals living with mental health conditions through diversion programs, and to assure - while incarcerated and upon their release - that they receive appropriate and necessary medical, mental health, and substance abuse treatment and supports.
The Criminal Justice Work Group is concerned with community re-entry and integration for individuals living with mental illness and have been released or paroled; we look at the challenges of community re-entry, including both facility siting and housing options. In addition, we promote quality juvenile justice strategies such as ending the use of solitary confinement, prevention and early intervention programs, and increased adoption and use of mental health programs that are best practices. Finally, we also investigate strategies to address the disproportion of youth of color currently being incarcerated.
Barriers of Having a Criminal Background Infographic
Justice Status, Employment, & Expungement Fact Sheet
Intermediate and Acute Mental Health Program Fact Sheet
Parity Committee seeks equal health care access
Randall Hagar- CHAIR
CCMH's Parity Work Group addresses health insurance discrimination that seriously harms people with mental health and substance use disorders. Parity is crucial to ensuring that people living with a mental illness receive necessary care on the same terms as the other physical conditions covered by their health care plans.
In practice, this means that access to medications; prior authorization policies; co-pays for service; availability of psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and other providers; and related services are not more stringently limited in scope and duration compared to other health care benefits.
In early 2016, President Obama commissioned a mental health parity task force to address the discrimination experienced by those with mental illness or substance abuse problems within the health care system. To find out more about this task force, click HERE.
Federal Parity Task Force Fact Sheet
Below are relevant news items from the Parity Committee:
Housing Committee focuses on ending homelessness
Chad Costello - Chair
Expanding safe and affordable housing is a key priority for CCMH, as it is a well-established social determinant of health. County behavioral health departments, community-based providers, family members, and mental health service consumers are essential partners in any effort to reduce and prevent homelessness when mental health challenges and/or substance use are key contributing factors. A safe place to call home is essential for personal recovery and wellness, and behavioral health services are critical in preventing homelessness.
Based on our experiences, we believe several principles must be considered in designing new efforts and targeting new investments; to learn more, click HERE.