MHA-ND to work with Cass County jail to help inmates with mental health issues

Aug 26, 2013

The director of Mental Health America of North Dakota says people with mental illnesses often get caught in what she describes as a “revolving door.”

"Between the ER (emergency room) and the in-patient treatment, jail or maybe the state hospital, they just keep revolving through the system," said Susan Helgeland. She says stopping that revolving door is the purpose behind a two year grant the association received to work with the Cass County Jail. Helgeland says the money will help the jail staff assist inmates with mental health issues to receive some post-release planning.

"We do know that folks have a difficult time when they get out," said Helgeland. "They just don't know how to get into services. They don't know what community resources are available to them, and what community supports are available."

The two year grant comes from the Otto Bremer Foundation.