NAMI Utah works as partners with the criminal justice system in providing assistance for people with mental illness and their families. We partner with local, county and state organizations in looking for cost-effective, innovative solutions to the high number of those with mental illness who find themselves in the criminal justice system. Some of these projects include Mental health court and Jail diversion outreach.
‘Prisons and jails have become the de facto public and community mental health system of the 21st century. The US correctional system is currently responsible for more than 10 times the number of mentally ill patients receiving treatment in state psychiatric hospitals, despite the fact that most state prison systems are neither clinically nor materially equipped to deliver effective or even adequate mental health care. Serious mental illness (SMI) is recognized as a major risk factor in incarceration and re-incarceration, and it is often those persons with serious mental illness (SMI) who are caught in a “revolving door” between limited or inadequate treatment while in prison and insufficient treatment and support in the community.
The findings that 23% of the 1998-2002 Utah State Prison population qualifies as seriously mentally ill has major implications for institutional policy and practice, including staff training, staffing models, prison-based treatment and programming and transitional services. Of equal significance is the rate that these offenders return to prison, and the costs of providing mandated treatment services as well as additional correctional management in an institution not primarily designed for these purposes.’
--excerpt from the Mentally Ill Offender Initiative Progress Report
Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice
September 16, 2008
The Consensus Project http://consensusproject.org/
National GAINS Center http://www.gainscenter.samhsa.gov/html/
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We all need nutrition to support our bodies. A poor diet equals poor health, contributing to obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes - conditions that many people living with mental illness are at a high risk of developing. Nutrition is important for everyone. If you are living with mental illness, eating well is especially important for you, because what you eat can affect your daily life, mood and energy level. Healthy eating is not about being thin or deprivation. Healthy eating is about feeling good, having more energy, participating in your recovery and mapping out your future. Simply put, healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to improve wellness. Dietary guidelines set by the USDA state that a healthy diet is one that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat free or low fat milk products. A healthy diet should include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts. Be sure to limit saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars. Lear more about the U.S. government's guidlelines by reveiwing the food pyramid: mypyramid.gov.