In Focus: Implementing Mental Health Screening and Assessment

This resource was selected by SMI Adviser content partners and approved by the SMI Adviser clinical expert team for inclusion in the knowledge base.

This brief focuses on implementing a mental health screening and assessment process, specifically to identify the number of people booked into jails who have serious mental illnesses (SMI). While implementing this process may also identify people who have less serious mental illnesses and other behavioral health needs who may require treatment while in jail, this brief is focused on identifying the people who have SMI because this population tends to represent the greatest draw on scarce behavioral health and social service resources. Determining the prevalence of people who have SMI in jails will allow counties to develop or refine a strategic plan that will
have the greatest impact on addressing this population’s needs.


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