There are criminal justice and mental health specializations that are getting much attention these days, one of them being forensic mental health. This is especially so as more and more states and cities recognize the growing demand for such programs and services. And indeed, the high demand for the criminal justice involvement and mental health needs of clients need to be addressed, especially in terms of planning and supervision.
Services involving forensic psychiatric health offer the evaluation and treatment of people who suffer from mental disorders and have histories of criminal offense. These services are also offered to those who have indications of mental health problems who also have risks of committing criminal offenses. Treatment approaches can be offered in health facilities, the community or criminal justice facilities.
Forensic mental health is broadly defined as the area of criminal justice specialization that involves the evaluation and treatment of people who suffer from mental disorders and whose behavior has resulted to or can result to criminal offenses. From a civil point of view, forensic psychiatric health is more complex as it not involves the evaluation and treatment of people who have the potential to inflict injuries but also offers advice to tribunals and courts on the capacity and competency of offenders.
Mental health and criminal justice systems might refer and individual for evaluation of a psychiatric disorder or illness. The mental condition of offenders or alleged offenders might need to be evaluated for various reasons. These include their capability of making pleas in court, their mental state at the time the offense was committed, and their current mental health treatment requirements.
The assessment and management of risks have come out as vital elements not only in forensic mental health practice, but also all types of psychiatric health practices. The long-term feasibility of care in the community that has turned out to be an essential aspect of several modern psychiatric health services depends much on appeasing the concerns that the public and politicians have regarding the dangers that people with mental issues pose. Although exaggerated and misplaced at times, these public fears can result to serious damage. What the public fears can also disrupt the progress of less tyrannical and custodial psychiatric health services. Psychiatric health services are responsible for doing everything they can to offer the right kind of support and care to people with mental health issues, especially if they show signs of increased likelihood of committing violent acts, may it be towards them or other people. The goal is to determine and manage these risks before they result in violence.
Forensic Mental Health: Treatment
There are several forensic mental health treatment options available. These include the use of medications like antipsychotics and antidepressants in controlling some of the indications of specific mental problems. Treatment can also be in the form of one-on-one counseling or group therapy. Another method of treatment is in the form of rehabilitation that involves a program that is aimed at helping people to live in safety within the community. Support services for offenders who have mental health problems are also available. Public health systems offer a variety of general and forensic psychiatric health services. Justice systems provide funds for mental health services offered in prisons, mental health evaluations and diversion programs that courts request. Support programs based in the community are also available. There are also private forensic psychiatric health practitioners who offer counseling and treatment services.