Evidence-based and promising practices are gaining increased exposure and utilization in the mental health arena. As expectations are being raised at the national level, states are striving to adopt proven programs for their own communities and develop programs to include outcome based data.
Evidence Based Practices or EBP’s are defined as approaches to
prevention or treatment that are based in theory and have undergone
scientific evaluation. EBP interventions have consistent scientific
evidence showing that they improve client outcomes. Promising Practices
are those that experts believe are likely to rise to the level of
evidenced-based when scientific studies are completed.
Nebraska has implemented various evidence-based and promising practices throughout the state. The following are programs currently being implemented in various regions:
The goal of Assertive Community Treatment is to help people stay out of
the hospital and to develop skills for living in the community, so that
their mental illness is not the driving force in their lives. Assertive
community treatment offers services that are customized to the
individual needs of the consumer, delivered by a team of practitioners,
and available 24 hours a day. The program addresses needs related to
symptom management, housing, finances, employment, medical care,
substance abuse, family life, and activities of daily life.
Various agencies and organizations throughout Nebraska have implemented ACT teams including specifically Community Alliance in Omaha, Nebraska.
Click here to access the Assertive Community Treatment Evidence-Based Practice KIT (Knowledge Informing Transformation) developed by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).
The CIT program started in Memphis in 1988 and is a partnership between
law enforcement, the mental health system, and consumers of mental
health services and their families. Through participation in this
program, CIT police officers learn to recognize common forms of mental
illness and to utilize the most effective means of communicating with
people undergoing crisis. The officers are trained to de-escalate the
individuals in crisis and allow the consumer to participate in the
decision-making regarding their treatment. CIT officers must
successfully complete 40 hours of training to become certified.
The Heartland CIT Council formed in 2005, bringing the CIT program to Omaha and the Region VI community. Click here to learn more about Crisis Intervention Teams.
Signs of Suicide (SOS) is a 2-day secondary
school-based intervention that includes screening and education.
Students are screened for depression and suicide risk and referred for
professional help as indicated.
Students also view a video that teaches them to recognize signs of depression and suicide in others. They are taught that the appropriate response to these signs is to acknowledge them, let the person know you care, and tell a responsible adult (either with the person or on that person's behalf).
Students participate in guided classroom discussions about suicide and depression. The intervention attempts to prevent suicide attempts, increase knowledge about suicide and depression, develop desirable attitudes toward suicide and depression, and increase help-seeking behavior.
Lincoln Public Schools is seeking to adopt the Signs of Suicide program.
Supported Employment is a well-defined approach to helping people with mental illnesses find and keep competitive employment within their communities. Supported employment programs are staffed by employment specialists who have frequent meetings with treatment providers to integrate supported employment with mental health services. The core principles of this program include:
The Mental Health Association of Nebraska has implemented supported employment programs.
TeenScreen is a national screening program created
to address unidentified mental illness and suicide risk in youth.
Developed by Columbia University, the program has been introduced to
various school districts and allows parents and students the opportunity
to participate in a voluntary mental health screening.
Through TeenScreen, middle and high school age youth complete a questionnaire and interview process geared at identifying common risk factors associated with depression or other mental health problems. TeenScreen does not provide a mental health diagnosis but informs a parent if a teen shows signs of being at-risk and assists them in locating local resources where they can obtain further evaluation.
The Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition is seeking to implement the TeenScreen program in school districts in rural southeast Nebraska.
Visit SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices for additional information or click here to access NAMI’s publication A Family Guide – Choosing the Right Treatment: What Families Need to Know About Evidence-Based Practices.
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