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Member Research and Reports

Arkansas: Researchers Awarded $600,000 Grant to Evaluate Crisis Stabilization Unit

Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) have received a $600,000 grant to study the Pulaski County Regional Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU).

Arnold Ventures awarded the three-year grant to Dr. Nick Zaller, professor in the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health and Dr. Melissa Zielinski, assistant professor in the UAMS College of Medicine; who will serve as co-principal investigators.

The project will follow patients for two years to evaluate individual and regional outcomes of the Pulaski County Regional CSUs availability and engagement.

Crisis Stabilization Units are used to aid in jail diversion for people experiencing behavioral health issues who come in contact with law enforcement due to a mental health crisis.

“The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. Research shows that people who become incarcerated are often struggling to manage mental illness and addiction. CSUs offer an opportunity to provide people with treatment, rather than contribute to already unsustainable rates of confinement,” said Dr. Zielinski.

“This is the first time a grant like this has been awarded in Arkansas,” said Dr. Zaller. “The funding will allow us to fill a gap in the research on short- and long-term patient-level outcomes for evaluating Crisis Stabilization Units.”

The Pulaski County Regional CSU is one of four pilot programs in Arkansas authorized in 2017 by Act 423, which provided funding to establish the crisis units and train officers to effectively deflect persons from jail who would be better served in the community.

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