Mental Health Juvenile Justice

If your child is consistently suspended from school and at-risk for expulsion, it is helpful to know which resources are available for support. If your child is arrested and given a court date, it is really nice to have someone explain what juvenile probation entails. If your child struggles with learning and concentration, having someone advocate for your child with you to the school system alleviates much stress.

These are some of the services youth involved in the Mental Health Juvenile Justice Program (MHJJ) receive. MHJJ is a six-month program that helps connect youth to services and provides support for youth and their parents.

In order to participate in the MHJJ program, youth must be: a) 18 years old or younger b) involved in the juvenile justice system or demonstrate at-risk behaviors (multiple suspensions, substance use, fighting, etc), which put them at a significant risk for juvenile justice involvement, and c) exhibit moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety, depression, psychosis, or post-traumatic stress. In summary, youth who would benefit from an extra support person, encourager, motivator, accountability person, advocate, and coach. The MHJJ Liaison works with all the key players on the youth's support team, including parents, the probation officer, psychiatrist, teachers, therapist, and mentor to ensure the youth receives all-around care.

Participation in the MHJJ program is made convenient through home visits. A MHJJ liaison meets youth and families in their home and often brings activities to help youth build useful skills. The MHJJ liaison will help a youth with a variety of skills, ranging from: job readiness, coping skills, anger management, effective study habits, social skills, or any other area the youth requests. The best part about MHJJ is that the services are uniquely tailored to each youth using individualized treatment plans.

The MHJJ program provides an alternative to juvenile incarceration through linking youth to community-based services that address their individual needs and strengths.

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