Since May 2015, more than 300 counties have passed a resolution to join Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails. The National Stepping Up Summit in April 2016 brought county teams together to share solutions, and counties across the country continue to use innovative strategies for reducing the prevalence of people with mental illnesses in jails. Several states, including Ohio, California, and North Carolina, have held or are planning statewide summits with county teams to explore how states can support counties in their efforts.
Beginning in January 2017, the Stepping Up partners—The American Psychiatric Association Foundation, The National Association of Counties, and The Council of State Governments Justice Center—are launching a comprehensive approach to delivering technical assistance (TA) and facilitating communication among counties to move their initiatives forward. Here are the ways your county can get involved:
- Join Monthly “All-County” Calls and Webinars
- Stepping Up will host monthly webinars and TA network calls to give counties an opportunity to learn from experts and peers. Webinar and TA call dates and times will be circulated as they are scheduled and may be accessed via the Stepping Up Resources Toolkit. The first two opportunities are listed below.
- The National Association of Counties will host multiple Stepping Up educational workshops at its Legislative and Annual Conferences in 2017. These workshops are open to all registered conference attendees. Learn more and register to attend.
- Network with Peers
- Stepping Up will host quarterly calls for smaller groups of rural, mid-size, and large/urban counties to foster collaboration and sharing among similarly situated peers. Counties that have passed resolutions will receive email invitations to join these calls based on their population.
- Access the Latest Resources
- A foundational report will be released in early 2017 as the focus of Stepping Up technical assistance moving forward. Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail: Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask (Six Questions) will provide strategies and assist counties in their Stepping Up efforts.
- Stepping Up is continuously updating its Resources Toolkit with the latest research, case studies, and online tools. New resources to be released in 2017 include:
- Companion tools for county leaders on key items from the Six Questions report
- A Project Coordinator Handbook to assist county coordinators with implementing the Six Questions
- Guidance on different strategies for measuring the prevalence of people with mental illnesses in jails
- A searchable online repository of example programs and strategies
It’s not too late for your county to pass a resolution or proclamation in support of Stepping Up. Email a signed copy of the resolution to email@example.com.