Evaluating The Efficacy of the Brief Jail Mental Health Screener and It’s Relationship with the Diagnoses & Treatment of Linked Inmates

Korngiebel, Katherine, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Elliott, Travis, EN, University of Virginia

20 percent of Americans suffer from a mental illness (MHA, 2019). For those aged 10-34, suicide is the second leading cause of death (NAMI, 2021). The effects of poor mental healthare not isolated. Mental health disorders are associated with stress, deprivation, and addictive behaviors, hence certain people are at greater risk. The following sections of this paper will explore two of these subpopulations. The technical report will look at the connection of mental health to incarceration, and the STS research paper will examine that to video game addiction. Mental health disorders are defined sociotechnically as they combine traits of natural phenomena and of social constructs. Moreover, specific medical diagnoses themselves are highly subject to disagreement, even among experts; in time some diagnoses may therefore be discarded, and new ones may be proposed. For example, until 1973 the American Psychiatric Association (APA) classified homosexuality as a mental disorder. More recently, video game addiction has been proposed as a mental health diagnosis, though it has not yet been recognized as such by the APA, showing the influence of society even in technical fields. In the same way, even though the medical basis of severe disorders like schizophrenia is well established, social elements, like an individual’s standing with the criminal justice system, can make it difficult for those suffering to receive proper care. Mental health is therefore a social as well as a technical problem, and solutions must be sought after through social and technical means. This portfolio attempts to contribute to that effort on both fronts.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
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