Jackson and Jennings groups study mental health response

Jennings and Jackson county organizations took part in a workshop recently to analyze how those with mental health needs encounter the criminal justice system.

According to organizers, representatives of groups including local government, criminal justice system, mental health providers and social services providers took part in the sessions in April. The goal was to develop a map of the paths through the system, so gaps could be identified and ways that those in need could be diverted away from the criminal justice system.

The process, called Sequential Intercept Model Mapping helps those involved in the system come up with a strategic action plan. That plan would then be implemented over the next one to two years.

Organizers say the mapping project also introduces best practice and solutions based on evidence.

The workshop was led by a team from the National Alliance on Mental Illness Indiana and Indiana SIM Mapping Network. It was held in Eisner Hall at the Education Training Center in North Vernon and use of the space was donated by the city.