The Collin County Commissioners Court approved designating a Juvenile Mental Health Intervention Program during its Monday meeting.
The program, a specialty treatment court, comes as a partnership between the county’s Juvenile Probation Department and the 417th District Court, according to a memo from H. Lynn Hadnot, the county’s juvenile probation services director. Centering around the court, the program is angled to serve as an outpatient treatment system that would average at about nine months for children between 10 and 17 years old who have been diagnosed with mental illness.
“The program is called Juvenile Mental Health Intervention Program (JMHIP) and provides community-based treatment and judicial supervision in an evidence-based, restorative approach to foster treatment and support for program participants and their families, and community-protection for citizens,” Hadnot’s memo stated.
The program aims to help juvenile offenders who have a mental illness and are acting out or violating the law, according to documentation provided to the commissioners court. The program would use a multidimensional approach that would include families, treatment providers and local school districts.
According to Hadnot’s memo, the program doesn’t call for any additional funding and would be accounted for through the budgets of the county’s Juvenile Probation Department and of the district court.
“The program aims to hold participants accountable for their actions while building on their strengths and connecting them to healthy peers, family and adult relationships as well as prosocial activities,” the program mission statement reads.
The goal, according to the statement, is to lower the amount of referrals to the criminal justice system while working with participants and their families through mental illness.
Tammy Mahan is the CEO of LifePath Systems, the county’s local behavioral health authority created by the commissioners court in 1986. She said Hadnot approached LifePath Systems asking for a letter of support for the program.
In her letter, Mahan stated that LifePath System’s role in the program would involve designating a liaison who would work with the court team to help make sure mental health appointments are scheduled and completed. The organization would also ensure “ongoing community-based mental health service…