May is Mental Health Month, and Mental Health America’s 2023 theme is “Look Around, Look Within,” focusing on how surroundings impact mental health. This is especially important within our field of correctional health care. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that about two in five people who are incarcerated have a history of mental illness – 37% in state and federal prisons and 44% in local jails.
The unique circumstances of the correctional environment compel us to provide treatment that considers the effects of the environment our patients came from, reside in, and will eventually return to. NaphCare strives to provide holistic mental health care that serves our patients where they are and prepares them for a future outside the correctional system.
As mental health care in the correctional environment becomes increasingly important, NaphCare remains committed to progress and advancing our level of care. In the past year, we have expanded our program offerings and mental health team to address growing areas of need.
Mental Health Stabilization Units (MHSU)
We are inspired and encouraged by the patient success and progress we continue to see in our Mental Health Stabilization Units (MHSU). NaphCare’s MHSU program uses an interdisciplinary approach to facilitate mental health stabilization through medication management, treatment planning and programming, and monitoring throughout the detention process with discharge planning as the primary focus and goal of mental health services. MHSU program staff are trained professionals who practice with integrity, professionalism, and acknowledge and respect the multiple needs of patients who experience symptoms of mental illness.
Jail-Based Competency Treatment
We continue to broaden our scope of services by providing all-inclusive jail-based competency restoration treatment program (JBCT). JBCT is an alternative treatment option that relieves pressure on state hospital resources, provides timely treatment to efficiently restore defendants to competency so they can proceed with their case, and prevents excessive delays of the judicial process. We use specialized units intended to provide hospital-level restoration treatment within the jail environment with the ultimate goal of efficiently and effectively restoring adjudicative competency.
Our program has met with success in the facilities where it operates, due in part to our highly trained mental health professionals, as well as the partnerships we forge with security, sheriffs’ offices, and the judicial bodies involved in the competency restoration process.
Competency Enhancement Program
Our Competency Enhancement Program (CEP) provides additional mental health services to defendants whose competency to stand trial has been questioned in their case, who have been found incompetent and unable to proceed, or who have been restored at the state hospital and returned to await trial. CEP is a complementary treatment program that includes close psychiatric medication management and clinical counseling aimed at maximizing psychiatric and behavioral stabilization.
Our goal is to efficiently and effectively provide optimum mental health services to help these patients achieve psychiatric stability to foster quicker restoration to competency and to maintain psychiatric stability of individuals restored to competency to prevent further delays in due process.