Communities in Crisis: Local Responses to Behavioral Health Challenges

Prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

As the opioid and mental health crises continue to gain national attention, local leaders are stepping up to implement programs to address the prevalence and impact of untreated serious mental illness (SMI) and substance use disorders (SUD). In a new report supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Manatt Health explores how cities and counties have launched local initiatives to address the human and economic impact of untreated SMI and SUD.

The new report provides detailed profiles of 13 local programs, as well as a comprehensive taxonomy to categorize program elements and features. It describes efforts that train law enforcement officials and other first responders in de-escalation tactics, deliver therapeutic treatment in jails, and create criminal justice diversion programs that direct individuals away from incarceration and toward treatment, housing and therapeutic and social support services.

The report concludes with a look at opportunities for evaluation and spread of successful models. The authors also present recommendations for further areas of research to promote a better understanding of variations in local program design and intervention models, including their efficacy in addressing the prevalence and impact of untreated serious mental illness and substance use disorders in communities.

Click here to access a PDF of the full report.

Click here to access an executive summary.

Click here to access the taxonomy.

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