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Psychiatric Mental Health and Substance Abuse Expert Panel

Chair – Madeline A. Naegle, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, is a professor at New York University.

Co-Chair – Mona Shattell, PhD, RN, FAAN is a professor at DePaul University in Chicago and former Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project.

Chair Emerita – Linda Beeber, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


New Models of Mental Health Care, Not “Asylums”

Does the US need institutions to treat or house persons with severe mental illness? A recent paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) authored by three ethicists calls for improved psychiatric care by returning to psychiatric asylums of the past (asylums that are “safe, modern, and humane”).


The authors of this op-ed are all psychiatric mental health nurses with many years of experience providing mental health care to persons with mental illness, in inpatient and community settings. We are psychiatric mental health nurse researchers, educators, and practitioners and members of the psychiatric mental health and substance use expert panel of the American Academy of Nursing (Academy). The Academy serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice by generating, synthesizing, and disseminating nursing knowledge. This psychiatric mental health and substance expert panel, numbering more than 100 nurses at the top of the field, recognize the authors of the JAMA commentary for bringing the issue of inadequate comprehensive psychiatric mental health care to the forefront.


It is unethical and unconscionable to re-route persons with mental illness to other restrictive settings such as correctional facilities for treatment that may be below standard.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is making strides to incorporate the recovery model into mental health care, and we applaud this agency for leading the charge to integrate behavioral health care, thus creating a very different blueprint for care in SAMHSA’s four major dimensions to support recovery from mental illness: health, home, purpose and community.
  • Health—overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms—for example, abstaining from use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and non-prescribed medications if one has an addiction problem—and, for everyone in recovery, making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being
  • Home—having a stable and safe place to live
  • Purpose—conducting meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income, and resources to participate in society
  • Community—having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope

We applaud psychiatric mental health nurses for caring for those who are in need now, an the nurse educators who continue to teach the importance of complex relationship skills needed to assist people with serious mental illness.

To be sure, there have been gains in mental health care. But, we need to do much more.

We call for a federally supported national summit convening consumers, mental health professional organizations, and providers to assess progress to date by reviewing existing services such as Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), community mental health services, peer support services, alternatives to emergency departments (such as The Living Room), and looking toward new models of care. The community mental health concepts of 1965 were compromised in a flawed and haphazard array of services. We are not in favor of a return to that cobbled together array of services, often not tailored to population needs. Rather, we are calling for a new conversation about alternative approaches that “institutionalize” all dimensions of recovery.


The emergence of new knowledge of complex genetic and neurobiological causes of mental illness tells us that cure is a complex challenge perhaps mastered far into the future.


Rather than isolating people with severe mental illness from society, recovery dimensions should embody in vibrant, nurturing communities within the larger society.



American Academy of Nursing Releases Policy Brief Identifying Action Items for Health Care Industry



American Academy of Nursing Calls for Collective Action to Include Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health in the Electronic Health Record 


Academy Releases Policy Brief Identifying Action Items for Health Care Industry


Washington, D.C. (September 14, 2015) –The American Academy of Nursing has released a policy brief that endorses the capturing of social and behavioral determinants of health in the electronic health record (EHR). The policy brief identifies several recommendations for health care industry leaders to foster standardization and promote interoperability.

The policy brief is published in the September/October issue of the Academy’s journal, Nursing Outlook.

“There is strong evidence that social and behavioral factors influence health; however, they may not be addressed in clinical care for shared decision-making. It is imperative that all stakeholders in health care collaborate to include this information in electronic records, including EHR vendors, health systems, providers and funders,” said Academy CEO, Cheryl Sullivan.

The policy brief states the Academy’s support for recommendations put forth by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in a 2014 report, “Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records (Phase 1 and Phase 2).” Identified barriers to the implementation of IOM’s phase 2 recommendations include:

  1. Lack of commitment to standardization of clinical practice, documentation and data.
  2. Lack of consistency and ease-of-use of clinical workflow within EHR technology.
  3. Need for increased patient empowerment and culture of trust.

These barriers prohibit the adoption of a standardized assessment panel of approximately 20 questions put forth by the IOM addressing: Alcohol use; Race/Ethnicity; Residential address; Tobacco use; Median household income; Depression; Educational attainment; Financial resource strain; Intimate partner violence for women of reproductive age; Physical activity; Social isolation; and Stress.

The policy brief states:

“…The recommended action steps of multi-stakeholders will begin to address the global changes that must be made in clinical practice to assure EHRs capture and permit sharing of contextual patient information, promote shared decision-making, enhance appropriate inter-professional planning/providing of health care services and facilitate monitoring of patterns of health and outcomes of care for entire populations.”

Read the full policy brief.


About the American Academy of Nursing

The American Academy of Nursing ( serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. The Academy’s more than 2,300 fellows are nursing’s most accomplished leaders in education, management, practice, and research. They have been recognized for their extraordinary contributions to nursing and health care.

Our Fall 2015 Newsletter Is Now Available!

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Secondary Sources List

As part of The Center of Correctional Health Network’s continuing pursuit of a far reaching network of researchers and scholars in the field of correctional health, we have developed a list of data resources to provide guidance for those planning on conducting research in the field.  Access levels, pricing data and application requirements are listed for all resources.  It is our hope that this list will help encourage researchers to pursue work within this oft overlooked field

UConn Health Correctional Managed Health Care July 2015 Newsletter

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CLN’s 25th Annual Nursing Leadership Convention Photos and Press Release

 Over 150 nursing and healthcare leaders from throughout Connecticut attended the 25th Annual Nursing Leadership Convention that took place on June 17, 2015.  The theme of the event was, The Role of Debriefing in Simulation…Enhancing Clinical Reasoning Skills”.

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Congratulations to our own Dr. Deborah Shelton!

Dr. Shelton has been selected by the Connecticut League for Nursing (CLN) to receive The Jane E. Murdock “Life – Long” Learning Award.

The award will be presented as part of  CLN’s 25th Annual Nurse Leadership Convention on Wednesday, June 17th from 12:00 – 1:00 pm at The Sheraton Hartford South Hotel, 100 Capital Boulevard, Rocky Hill CT .


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Honor Student Shelja Patel on Uconn Commencement


Our Spring 2015 Newsletter Is Now Available!

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Get all the newest information about our progress here!

Thank you for attending our Research in an Era of Mass Incarceration Event !


 The Center for Correctional Health Networks would like to thank all our attendees who were with us for our research event.  We had a host of speakers from diverse backgrounds giving their experiences within the fields of healthcare, justice, statistics and research.  We hope that our attendees had a chance to network with each other, if you have any questions feel free to contact our desk at
“I enjoyed learning about various research going on in correctional health currently; it was nice being surrounded by people who share
interests in corrections & feel as strongly about issues in corrections as I do”

“Nice to hear the projects that are currently being worked on – nice to meet other people with similar passions and sharing ideas”

“It was great to hear from various professionals and gain a better understanding for the various research projects going on in CT”