U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Developing A Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2013
2 pages
This description of a free online multimedia curriculum on Developing a Mental Health Court provides training for individuals and teams who are interested in starting, maintaining, or learning more about mental health courts.
The curriculum incorporates current research and best practices into its design. The curriculum has five objectives. First, it describes the components of the mental health and substance abuse systems. Second, it helps users decide whether to start a mental health court, based on their jurisdictions' needs and resources. Third, it describes best practices for designing a program, including how to identify the population the program will serve and how to set the terms of program participation. Fourth, it provides guidance on developing and monitoring individualized treatment and supervision plans. Fifth, it offers insights on maintaining a program, including the management of public expectations for the court and sustaining funding. Next, the learning objectives for each of the training modules are listed. The topics addressed are an introduction to behavioral health, an introduction to criminal justice, understanding mental health courts, the association between the mental health court and community needs, the mental health court team, the target population, the design of policies and procedures for program participation, case planning, facilitation of the success of mental health court participants, and launching and sustaining the mental health court. The curriculum was developed by the Council of State Governments Justice Center with the support of the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance in partnership with a number of stakeholder organizations. The curriculum is available at learning.csgjusticecenter.org.

Date Published: January 1, 2013