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September 2014
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Psychiatric Services

A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association Editor: Howard H. Goldman, M.D., Ph.D.
Articles  |  September 1, 2014
Less Recidivism Among Mental Health Court Participants

Evidence has accumulated that mental health courts (MHCs) reduce rearrests and extend the time to rearrest among persons with mental illness. So far, however, many of these studies have lacked a rigorous experimental design. In this article, the authors report a carefully designed study of MHC outcomes that corrects a significant shortcoming of earlier research by controlling for the effect of nonrandom assignment to MHCs or traditional courts. The results confirmed previous findings that MHC participants demonstrate better recidivism outcomes.

Articles  |  September 1, 2014
Costs Savings of MHCs Questioned

Advocates of mental health courts (MHCs) contend that the courts offer a more humane and cost-effective way to meet the treatment needs of persons with mental illness in the criminal justice system. The authors report on a multisite, case-control investigation examining the economic part of that argument, comparing costs for criminal justice and behavioral health treatment for MHC participants and a matched sample of detainees who received psychiatric services in jail. Criminal justice expenses were less for the MHC participants, but the possibility that the savings would be offset by treatment savings was not borne out.

Open Forum  |  September 1, 2014
Paying Attention to Language: Why It Matters

A seemingly insignificant word choice can harden damaging stereotypes or challenge them, according to the author of this essay on the language therapists use. Does a patient “struggle” with symptoms of schizophrenia, or is he “overwhelmed” by them? Is he a “patient” at all or, rather, a “consumer”—someone who knows how to shop around for optimal care? Therapists can avoid stereotyping by using these simple rules to describe patients: use inclusive, not exclusive language; talk symptoms instead of diagnoses; and employ active-voice verbs.

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