What are NC Department of Adult Correction (NCDAC) staff needs related to peer and behavioral/mental health supports? How can the SHIELD program provide these supports to improve employee mental health?

Project started: February 1, 2024
Department or Agency: NC Department of Adult Correction

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Topics
Behavioral/Mental healthCorrectional HealthcareCriminal JusticeEvidence-based PracticePublic SafetySuicide and Self-Injury Prevention and InterventionWorkforce Needs

Project Overview

Summary

The NC Department of Adult Correction (NCDAC) and the NC Office of Strategic Partnerships (OSP) hosted a research partnership interest meeting on February 1, 2024, to discuss this project and a separate project. Click here for the meeting recording and slide deck.

Project description updated 5/15/2024.

NCDAC operates the Support, Hope, Inclusion, Empowerment, Loyalty, and Dedication (SHIELD) Program to provide peer support and behavioral and mental health services for agency staff. The NCDAC SHIELD Program, housed within NCDAC’s Workforce Management Division, focuses on effective coping for job stress and healing from traumatic stress. SHIELD is in the process of developing structured programming for agency employees, including: individual counseling and coaching sessions, wellness presentations, critical incident response by request, and a phone access line that agency staff can call for support from trained clinicians.

NCDAC is partnering with the Health Interventions in the Legal System Lab (HILS Lab) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work to conduct a needs assessment to identify agency staff needs around peer and behavioral/mental health supports. NCDAC will use the results of the needs assessment to improve existing and/or develop new and more tailored SHIELD programming.

NCDAC identified these research questions through the NCDAC and OSP partnership, which is a broader strategic effort to develop NCDAC's Priority Questions Research Agenda. This process included feedback from internal and external stakeholders who discussed in listening sessions and indicated on surveys that two of NCDAC’s key goals are 1) to understand the effectiveness of existing initiatives centered around employee mental health and 2) to identify evidence-based approaches to improve employee wellness.

Anticipated deliverables

  • Needs Assessment Design Plan articulating the proposed scope of work and timeline for data collection, analysis, and reporting to NCDAC.
  • Data collection instruments necessary to identify NCDAC staff peer and behavioral/mental health support needs.
  • Needs Assessment Report with detailed findings from SHIELD Program Needs Assessment including recommendations to NCDAC for SHIELD implementation and service delivery.
  • Presentation to NCDAC on identified agency staff needs for peer and behavioral/mental health supports.

Planned use of results

NCDAC will use the results of the needs assessment to identify what SHIELD could address with peer and behavioral/mental health supports. By identifying the issues for which staff need the most support, or in what areas NCDAC could improve support/s, SHIELD can develop and implement more tailored programming.

Data

NCDAC and its research partner will work together to assess what data would advance the needs assessment, whether the data is already collected and available, and/or whether and how to collect and share it. Some example information and data NCDAC can make available to its research partner for the needs assessment include:

The project is in progress.

We plan to post results and deliverables when the project is complete. In the meantime, we welcome questions about the project.

Project point of contact

Charlamane Suggs

SHIELD Director, NCDAC

NC Department of Adult Correction

charlamane.suggs@dac.nc.gov


Project Team

NC Department of Adult Correction

NC Office of Strategic Partnerships

Health Interventions in the Legal System Lab (HILS Lab) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work

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