“We know that people with serious mental disorders are at somewhat elevated risk of committing violence,” Dr. Paul Appelbaum says. “Even so, the vast majority of them never commit a violent act. And we know that people with serious mental illnesses are much more likely to end up as victims of violence rather than as perpetrators.”
Mental Health Media Clips
Erie County Council is supporting a national initiative aimed at helping those in jail who suffer from mental disabilities in jails.
These closures have raised questions about what happens to a city when resources for the homeless community begin to dry up. We talk about these consequences and what the city can do with Richard Cho, Director of Behavioral Health at The Council of State Governments Justice Center and former Deputy Director on the US Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Roughly 100 female inmates in the county jail will be part of a pilot project to match them with services to treat mental illness and behavioral health problems to make sure they are rehabilitated while they are incarcerated.
By “stepping up,” local leaders are making a countywide commitment said Richard Cho, director of behavioral health for the Council of State Governments Justice Center. They’re agreeing to make timely assessments; to obtain data that can be tracked monthly; and to communicate with the right community agencies to learn how released inmates can be connected to treatment, he said.
Ohio has joined a growing national effort to reduce the number of persons with mental illness who cycle through county jails.
The San Francisco jail system serves as a “default mental institution” due to the high number of inmates with mental health problems and needs better staffing, training and procedures for communicating and tracking information about inmates to handle the load, according to a Civil Grand Jury report released today.
The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, introduced by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), a licensed child psychologist, would potentially address a nationwide shortage of psychiatric beds and child psychiatrists, in addition to creating the federal position of assistant secretary for mental health and substance use disorders.
The solution to chronic homelessness, and part of the solution to the overrepresentation of people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders in jails, is supportive housing using a Housing First approach.
Unfortunately, a consistent and dangerous narrative has emerged—an explanation all-too-readily at hand when a mass shooting or other violent tragedy occurs: The perpetrator must have been mentally ill.