Caring for Every Child's Mental Health

Juvenile Justice Video Short and Conversation Starter

Start a conversation in your community about supporting youth mental health in juvenile justice systems and partnering with law enforcement.

Use the Juvenile Justice: Awareness Day 2016 Video Short (seven minutes) to start discussions about system of care partnerships and interventions with local juvenile justice systems. This video can also help open lines of communication among youth, families, law enforcement, and other child-serving agencies involved in juvenile justice and youth mental health.

Suggested audiences for this video include:

  • Youth. Youth can share their experiences interacting with law enforcement or juvenile justice in a productive way that can become a catalyst for systems change.
  • Families and caregivers. The video introduces potential intervention and crisis models that can be accessed or implemented through family partnerships with local juvenile justice decision makers.
  • Law enforcement decision makers. Use the video in discussions about the services and interventions available with community supports.
  • Law enforcement and juvenile justice officers. The video gives examples of mental health education and training models, as well as strategies for building partnerships between law enforcement officers and the community.
  • Other child-serving agencies. Schools, social services, and community youth programs can use the video when initiating partnerships with juvenile justice and law enforcement agencies.

Law enforcement interaction may be a sensitive topic in some communities. To help promote respectful and meaningful dialogue on this issue, approach the conversation within the context of your community’s unique experiences and history.

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the unique challenges youth and young adults with behavioral health conditions face when interacting with police?
  2. Does your local police department train police to interact in a supportive way with youth and young adults with mental disorders?
  3. Does your community have a crisis service team available 24 hours a day? Explain what that is.
  4. Does your community offer crisis intervention training (CIT)? If not, what would it take to implement an effective youth- and family-driven CIT program in your community?
  5. How can law enforcement work more effectively with schools to provide support to students and school staff during the day?
  6. What is the best approach for parents, caregivers, or youth to start a conversation with law enforcement about supporting youth and young adults with behavioral health challenges?
  7. How do the community members perceive the way law enforcement officers interact with youth and families of color? What would be some initial steps to address cultural competency education and these disparities?
  8. What community and youth programs are local law enforcement currently engaged with, partnering with, or promoting? If there are no partnerships, what initial steps can be taken to develop them?
Last Updated: 09/28/2017