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Research Shows Inconsistencies in Jail Mental Health Assessment Tool

Aug 05 2019
When individuals are booked into a county jail they are commonly evaluated for current psychiatric symptoms and mental health history using the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen (BJMHS). To test the reliability of the BJMHS, researchers analyzed 3.5 years of data from a single large jail. The analysis showed that a person who had been booked into the jail and screened multiple times was more likely to be referred for further evaluation and treatment with each additional screening — and not because of different answers. This indicates that the BJMHS may be sensitive to reporting bias, and therefore not a consistently reliable tool. To learn more, please see the study abstract.

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New Research Aims To Improve Treatment Of Opioid Use Disorder In Criminal Justice Settings

Jul 24 2019
NIH has announced the formation of the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) to support research on quality addiction treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) in criminal justice settings. Individuals with OUD who are incarcerated often struggle to access appropriate treatment, putting them at increased risk for relapse or overdose when they transition back to their communities. As part of the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-Term) Initiative, JCOIN will establish a national network of investigators working to improve intervention and treatment strategies for this population. To learn more, please visit the NIH website.

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Telepsychiatry Significantly Increases Children’s Access to Mental Health Treatment

Jul 15 2019
Nearly half of all children with mental health conditions in the U.S. do not receive treatment. Many states have established telephone hotlines that allow primary care doctors to virtually consult with a child psychiatrist, reducing the need for specialist appointments. Using data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, NIH-funded researchers at the RAND Corporation have shown that children living in states where this service is available are more likely to receive mental health care. This evidence supports further expansion of telepsychiatry to reduce the treatment gap. To learn more, please visit the RAND website.

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