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Stepping Up For Change DuPage County Addresses Mental Illness in Community and Jail

Mon July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Stepping Up for Change: DuPage County Addresses Mental Illness in Community and Jail

(DUPAGE COUNTY)-The DuPage County Health Department and DuPage Health Coalition are hosting a workshop to develop integrated strategies to effectively identify and respond to the needs of justice-involved adults with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.

Key administrators, staff, and advocates from mental health, substance abuse, and criminal justice agencies will participate in Sequential Intercept Mapping on July 25 and 26, 2017 to reduce system and service barriers for individuals with mental illness with an integrated, local action plan.

Sequential Intercept Mapping, facilitated by Policy Research Associates, Inc. (PRA) of Delmar, New York, is designed to identify existing community resources, service gaps, and opportunities for improved service coordination and communication between mental health, substance abuse, and criminal justice professionals.

"Individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders are an increasing presence within the criminal justice system in DuPage County and the United States," said Health Department Executive Director Karen Ayala.

"This workshop is designed to bring changes in the system by providing the tools necessary to enhance services for adults with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders in contact with the justice system," Ayala said.

Studies have shown that 6.4 percent of men and 12.2 percent of women entering U.S. jails have a severe and persistent mental illness, compared to less than 2 percent of the general population. More than 70 percent of these individuals have a co-occurring substance use disorder.

Workshop participants will develop a plan that details the flow of criminal justice contact from arrest to incarceration, referral and access to services, and points for diversion from the justice system across DuPage County.

For data and current community efforts to address mental health and substance abuse in DuPage County, visit www.impactdupage.org.

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