More Than 100 Counties Have Supported Stepping Up. Has Yours?

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More than 100 counties have passed resolutions to implement initiatives to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in county jails.

In May 2015, the National Association of Counties, the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation launched Stepping Up and announced a Call to Action demonstrating strong county and state leadership and a shared commitment to a multi-step planning process to achieve concrete results for jails in counties of all sizes. As part of this Call to Action, we are encouraging counties to pass resolutions and work with other stakeholders to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails.

"Stepping Up" is a long overdue program. Recognizing that jails are not an appropriate therapy for the treatment of mental illness is the essential starting point. It is imperative to put our resources to work in a concerted effort to solve this critical problem. Too long have we relied on penal institutions to serve the functions of a hospital.



Stepping Up participants receive an online resources toolkit to assist with efforts, including a series of webinars, exercises and related distance-learning opportunities; peer-to-peer exchanges; and key resources from initiative partners. The next webinar will be held on Thursday, September 10th at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Click here to register.

It's not too late for your county to pass a resolution or proclamation in support of Stepping Up.

  1. Review the sample resolution and adjust it to fit your county's needs.
  2. Once you pass a resolution, submit it to Nastassia Walsh at NACo at

Already passed a resolution? Share it with NACo to be recognized. Email a copy of the resolution to Nastassia Walsh at

Questions? Please contact Nastassia Walsh, or 202.942.4289, with any questions.

About Nastassia Walsh (Full Bio)

Associate Program Director – Community Health and Justice

Nastassia Walsh is Associate Program Director for Community Health and Justice at the National Association of Counties (NACo). In this role, she oversees educational programming, peer-to-peer engagement and technical assistance on strategies related to health, behavioral health, justice, public safety and other related topics. 

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