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NAMI Guide to Crisis Intervention Programs for Youth

NAMI has published a guide titled, Supporting Schools and Communities in Breaking the Prison Pipeline: A Guide to Emerging and Promising Crisis Intervention Programs for Youth, to help inform advocates about existing crisis intervention programs for youth and what they can do to promote and implement such programs in their states and communities.

The guide responds to concerns about the alarming number of youth with mental health treatment needs who continue to enter the juvenile justice system. Schools in particular have been a pipeline into the juvenile justice for far too many youth in America. Crisis intervention programs for youth promise to support schools and communities in breaking this prison pipeline.

The guide highlights three communities that have adapted the adult Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model to develop crisis intervention programs for youth that can be used in the school and community setting. It provides an overview of the CIT model and discusses the key components, benefits, and costs associated with crisis intervention programs for youth. It also details what action steps children’s mental health advocates can take to effectively promote and implement these programs for youth in their states and communities.

CIT is a dynamic collaboration of law enforcement and community agencies and organizations committed to ensuring that individuals with mental illness are referred to appropriate mental health services and supports rather than thrust into the criminal justice system.

To download a copy of the guide, visit NAMI’s Child and Adolescent Action Center (CAAC) at www.nami.org/caac or NAMI’s CIT Resource Center at www.nami.org/cit. Advocacy fact sheets are being developed to accompany the guide and will be posted online soon.

For more information about NAMI’s work on crisis intervention programs for youth, please contact Dana Markey, Program Coordinator, CAAC, at danac@nami.org, or Laura Usher, CIT Coordinator, at laurau@nami.org.