Professional News
SAMHSA Assesses Alternatives to Seclusion, Restraint
Psychiatric News
Volume 42 Number 20 page 8-9

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded grants to programs in eight states in September, worth a total of more than $5 million over three years, to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint among institutional and community-based mental health treatment centers.

"Too often, seclusion and restraint are the cause of additional trauma, injury, and even death," said SAMHSA Administrator Terry Cline, Ph.D. The grants aim to ensure that states invest in "sustainable solutions and strategies for the treatment of those with serious mental illness."

The funds were awarded under SAMHSA's Alternatives to Restraint and Seclusion State Incentive Grant program, which supports activities that build a foundation for delivering and sustaining "effective recovery-based substance abuse prevention, treatment, and/or mental health services," including services for people with co-occurring substance abuse and other mental health disorders.

Continuation of the grants is subject to the availability of funds as well as the progress achieved by the grantees. Total funding for the first year is $1.7 million.

The grantees are in Connecticut, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia. They include a Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services program that aims to develop and implement a strategic plan that will reduce and eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint among young adults aged 18 to 25 who have serious mental illness.

Another program is an Indiana Family and Social Services Administration program to reduce the incidence of seclusion and restraint at two state-operated facilities that treat youth aged 5 to 18.

The New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services is using a $214,000 grant in four state psychiatric hospitals to monitor "relevant outcomes" and to partner with a consumer-run mental health organization that will provide on-site peer advocates.

The New York State Office of Mental Health says it will use its $214,000 grant to help build capacity at inpatient and residential treatment programs that use "positive alternatives" to seclusion and restraint as part of their treatment of children with severe emotional disturbances.

More information on the SAMHSA grants is posted at<www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/070921rs_award3327.aspx>.

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