Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $547,969)
The Second Judicial District Court (SJDC) of Washoe County, Nevada seeks funding in the amount of $550,000 to expand and strengthen its existing Mental Health Court (MHC) through collaboration between the justice system, mental health, and community providers—to target individuals with MHDs (including people with TBI and PTSD) or MHSUDs at risk of recidivism. Washoe County’s estimated 2023 population is 506,016 with a growth rate of 1.3% in the past year according to the most recent U.S. census data. Nevada is ranked 34th in the U.S. with 21.97% or 512,000 people experiencing Adult Prevalence of Mental Illness.
Launched in 2001, the SJDC MHC is a multi-jurisdictional, community-based program that provides court supervision and services for participants diagnosed with a mental health or co-occurring disorder through collaboration with a team of state, county, and non-profit agencies to promote engagement in treatment, improve quality of life, decrease recidivism, and increase community safety and awareness. This is accomplished by complying with the 10 Key Components designed for Adult Drug Court programs.
During the 36-month project period, MHC proposes to serve approximately 129 new participants, providing comprehensive evidence-based assessments of mental health and substance use disorders to facilitate treatment placement and effective matching; residential treatment; assisted outpatient mental health treatment, primary healthcare services; medicated assisted treatment services; regular drug testing; employment assistance; peer support; housing assistance, including transitional housing; and supervision. The project will also enhance public awareness and outreach efforts, including naloxone training for criminal justice staff and dissemination of kits for the clients and members of the public at risk of overdose.
The program’s key partner is Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, a comprehensive, community-based behavioral health system, which will provide inpatient services for participants with acute care needs through the Dini-Townsend psychiatric hospital. Clients who do not meet an acute level of care will be referred to partners WC Health Northern Nevada and Sai Mental Health Services to provide housing, psychiatric services, medication management, medication assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders, caseworkers, peer support specialists, and other wrap around services. The Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT) at the University of Nevada, Reno will serve as the evaluator for the grant.
The MHC seeks to enhance resources, with the outcomes of improved social functioning and linkage to community support services. The SJDC is not a previous recipient of JMHCP grant funds.