Behavioral Health & Disabilities

Behavioral Health & Disabilities | January 6, 2017

Joint Position Statement on Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders in Allegheny County

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Allegheny County, like much of Western Pennsylvania, is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic and it is vitally important that County residents have access to the best and most effective treatment to support their recovery from opioid use disorders. Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, combines medication and counseling/behavioral therapy and, when clinically appropriate, is ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | August 9, 2016

Opiate-Related Overdose Deaths in Allegheny County: Report, Maps and Dataset

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Allegheny County is in the midst of an opiate overdose epidemic. The ability of County government and engaged stakeholders to implement evidence-based strategies to address this problem is limited by the fact that much about the victims and potential risk factors is unknown. The publications, maps and dataset below are provided in an effort to inform ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | February 1, 2016

Suicide in Allegheny County, 2002 through 2014

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With more than 2100 suicides occurring from 2002 through 2014, and with an average annual rate of 13 suicides per 100,000 residents, Allegheny County’s suicide rate is higher than the national average. Suicide disproportionately affects white men, and 35- through 54-year-olds have the highest suicide rate in the County. Firearms and asphyxiation are the most ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | December 1, 2015

Involuntary Commitment Petitions in Allegheny County, 2002 through 2013

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This dashboard presents the pattern of involuntary commitment petitions such as client demographics, role of petitioner and authorizer, and evaluation facility. It complements the DHS-published data brief “Involuntary Commitment Petitions in Allegheny County.” Click here to view the related report....

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | December 1, 2015

Involuntary Commitment Petitions in Allegheny County

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An involuntary commitment is an application for emergency evaluation and treatment for a person who is considered to be a danger to self or others due to symptoms of a mental illness. In Allegheny County, petitions for involuntary commitment are managed and authorized by the Department of Human Services (DHS), through its Mental Health Information, ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | July 31, 2014

Common Assessment Tools: Implementation and Implications for Service Integration

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An initial assessment is often a client’s first service experience, and, as such, it plays a major role in the perception, comfort and outcomes of the service. Simultaneously, the assessment can set the tone for the eventual outcomes of the  This report describes the process of adapting and/or developing common assessments for use in Allegheny ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | March 1, 2014

Behavioral Health Services in The Allegheny County Jail

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The high percentage of inmates with mental health and/or substance use issues presents significant challenges to the correctional system. Untreated behavioral health issues contribute to higher rates of recidivism as well as a myriad of other barriers to successful community re-entry. To begin to address these challenges, the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative convened a workgroup ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | November 21, 2013

Managing with Less: Implementation of the Allegheny County Human Services Block Grant

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Fiscal Year 2012/2013 saw the implementation of the Human Services Block Grant in Allegheny County, which combined a 10 percent decrease in funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (now the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services) with greater flexibility in how those funds could be spent. The local planning process included community involvement and ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | October 1, 2013

Psychotropic Medication Use by Allegheny County Youth in Out-of-Home-Placement

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Focus groups with youth and caregivers identified a number of concerns about the way in which psychotropic medications were prescribed to youth in a child welfare out-of-home placement. A quantitative analysis by Community Care Behavioral Health indicated that youth in child welfare placement and on medical assistance were about two and a half times more ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | July 31, 2012

2011 Allegheny County DHS Local Government Case Competition: Reducing Stigma among Individuals with Serious Mental Illness

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Participants in the fifth annual Local Government Case Competition were asked to develop a plan to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.  Teams of graduate students approached the challenge from a variety of perspectives; the winning team targeted working-age adults with mental illness through a multifaceted plan of increased self-sufficiency and public awareness. In ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | June 1, 2012

HOPE: Helping Others Through the Power of Education: A Report on a Series of Events Held in the Spring of 2011

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Three events were held throughout May and June of 2011, designed to bring together youth and families from a number of DHS children and youth-serving systems. A description and evaluation of each event are included in this report. Click here to view the full report. ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | May 1, 2012

Allegheny County LINK: A Summary of Data and Consumer Feedback

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The Link is a collaborative effort among local agencies, organizations and indi­vidual consumers, designed to help older adults and people living with a disability maintain their independence, dignity and quality of life. Funded in 2006 by the Pennsyl­vania State Office of Long Term Living, the mission of the Link is to simplify and streamline access ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | May 1, 2012

Showing the Way Out: Youth Support Partners Use their Personal Experiences to Support Other Youth

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In 2008, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services hired four Youth Support Partners (YSP), young adults with lived experiences in human services, to serve as positive role models and peer supports for young people involved in the system. From that beginning, the Youth Support Partners program has expanded to include a manager, four supervisors ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | January 1, 2012

Evaluation of Allegheny County’s Crisis Intervention Team Training Program

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This report summarizes the development, implementation and evaluation of a crisis intervention training program designed to teach police officers how to identify and intervene appropriately and safely with individuals with mental illness. Click here to view the full report....

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | September 1, 2011

How Case Reviews Transformed Allegheny County’s Criminal Justice System

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This report describes Allegheny County’s criminal justice case review process, including factors that have contributed to its success and proposed solutions to ongoing issues. Click here to view the full report....

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | August 1, 2011

Prevention Programs Across the Department of Human Services

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DHS is committed to meeting the human services needs of county residents, particularly the county’s most vulnerable populations, through an extensive range of prevention, early intervention, crises management and after–care services. While system involvement is sometimes inevitable, necessary and highly beneficial to consumers, DHS believes that preventing the need for such system interventions can ultimately ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | January 1, 2011

Residential Enhancement Service Planning Opportunities for New Directions Program (RESPOND): A Program Evaluation

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RESPOND is an intensive treatment program designed to serve youth whose multiple needs (intellectual disability and significant behavioral challenges) are not able to be met through DHS’s current array of services. RESPOND operates on a collaborative model that integrates effective clinical treatment with principles of psychiatric rehabilitation, applied behavior analysis and community support programs. This ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | January 1, 2011

Starting Early Together – Assessing a System of Care Initiative

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Starting Early Together, a program of Allegheny County’s System of Care Initiative, was designed to serve children under six with serious emotional disturbances, and their families, in four high-need Allegheny County communities. The program combined service coordination with formal family supports, and was intended to transform the mental health system for children and families and ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | January 1, 2011

An Analysis of Allegheny County Mental Health Court

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This analysis uses summary violations and criminal convictions to compare recidivism rates of graduates of the Allegheny County Mental Health Court, which was established in 2001 to address the needs of people with mental illness and/or substance use disorders in judicial proceedings. Click here to view the full report. ...

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Behavioral Health & Disabilities | January 1, 2010

Homewood: A Community Profile

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This profile of the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Homewood (and subsequent Addendum) was compiled by DHS to assess demographic changes and examine quality of life issues-poverty, education, health care-in Homewood and in the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County to accurately assess the community’s assets and needs. Click here to view the full report. Click here ...

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