The designation of “serious mental illness” often obligates correctional health care departments to provide certain protections under professional and legal standards. The result is often a blanket policy that aims to protect a vulnerable population, but which ignores the dynamic functional aspects of human psychology. This talk explores the clinical implications of SMI designation and presents the importance of levels of functional need to assign resources and provide treatment in a proactive, effective manner.
- Discuss the ramifications of having various definitions of “serious mental illness”
- Describe clinical and ethical ramifications of the categorical approach to defining SMI
- Explore the dynamic levels of acuity and functional impairments within an SMI designation
Rebecca Vauter PsyD CCHP-MH, Chief Behavioral Health Officer, Armor Correctional Health Services, Inc.