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Stepping Up Month of Action
Since the launch of Stepping Up in 2015, more than 475 counties in 43 states have passed a resolution or proclamation to join the initiative and commit to creating a data-driven, systems-level plan to reduce the prevalence of mental illness in their jails and improve outcomes for people with mental illnesses in their communities. In 2018, dozens of counties participated in the Stepping Up Day of Action to highlight the important work happening in their communities. But there’s much more work to be done. Throughout 2019, the Stepping Up partners are asking counties to “Step Up” their efforts by completing the Stepping Up County Self-Assessment to identify a priority goal for this year (learn more here). Read More
Stepping Up County Peer Exchange: Polk County, Iowa
Join the National Association of Counties (NACo) and your peers for a one-and-a-half-day peer exchange on county behavioral health and criminal justice issues, hosted in Polk County (Des Moines), Iowa. This event will bring together county leaders from across the country to visit Polk County and learn about its efforts to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in the jail through the Stepping Up initiative and beyond. Participants will also engage in discussions about how to implement change in their own counties. Please see the draft agenda below. Read More
County Elected Officials’ Guide to Talking to the Media and the Public about People with Mental Illnesses in their Jail
This guide provides key talking points for county leaders to use when discussing their Stepping Up efforts. Read More
Day of Action Toolkit
Stepping Up is hosting a national Day of Action on May 16, 2018. During this Day of Action, counties are encouraged to host an event or participate in local activities to share with constituents the progress they have made in addressing the prevalence of people with mental illnesses in their jails, raise public awareness and understanding of this important issue and emphasize their commitment to creating data-driven, systems-level changes to policy and practice to reduce the number of people with mental illness in their jail. Read More
Stepping Up: Communications Strategies on County Efforts to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails
More than 400 counties have joined the national Stepping Up initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. Although counties have made progress in addressing this issue, many still struggle to effectively communicate these efforts to the public and the media. During this workshop, county leaders will learn about strategies for engaging the public and media around reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in jails and key messaging points to gain support for these efforts. Read More
Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail: Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask
Released by Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail, this report is intended to assist counties with developing and implementing a systems-level, data-driven plan that can lead to measurable reductions in the number of people with mental illnesses in local jails. The report serves as a blueprint for counties to assess their existing efforts to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jail by considering specific questions and progress-tracking measures. Read More
Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail: Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask: The Project Coordinator’s Handbook
This handbook is designed to complement the Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail: Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask (Six Questions) framework as a step-by-step facilitation guide for project coordinators. Read More
Six Questions Case Studies: Question 1: Is Our Leadership Committed?
Reducing the number of adults with mental illnesses in jails requires a cross-systems, collaborative approach involving a system-wide planning team. Planning teams may already exist in the form of a criminal justice coordinating council or mental health task force, or your county may decide to create a new planning team. Planning teams should include, at a minimum, county elected officials such as commissioners or supervisors, criminal justice and behavioral health leaders, representatives from the courts, people with mental illnesses or their family members and other relevant community stakeholders. Designating a person to coordinate the planning team’s meetings and activities and to manage details will push the initiative plans forward. In addition, an elected official should be designated as the planning team chairperson, as strong leadership from elected officials is essential to rally county agencies in these efforts. Read More
Launch of the Kansas Stepping Up Technical Assistance Center
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) and The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) announce the opening of the Kansas Stepping Up Technical Assistance Center (TA Center) to help counties reduce the prevalence of people with serious mental illness in jails. The TA Center—only the second of its kind in the nation—will offer technical assistance tailored specifically to Kansas counties to support policies and programs improving outcomes for people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders in jails. Reinforced by support from the national Stepping Up initiative, this effort will be directly informed by local needs and guided by a leadership team of state and local representatives. This webinar introduced the TA Center and provided an overview of resources available to counties. The webinar also discussed how counties can sign up to be part of the TA Center and how they can get started on or advance the work of Stepping Up in their counties with support from the TA Center. Read More