Stepping Up

The American Psychiatric Association Foundation has joined other leading organizations in support of the Stepping Up Initiative, an unprecedented national collaboration designed to generate action in communities across the country for a common goal: to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in U.S. jails.

The Problem

The number of people with mental illnesses in U.S. jails has reached a crisis level: two million individuals with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression are admitted each year, many of whom also have drug and alcohol use problems. Allowing them to continually cycle through jails does nothing to improve public safety, stresses already strained budgets, and hurts people with mental illnesses and their loved ones.

How You can Help

Whether you are a policymaker, a health or criminal justice professional, an individual living with mental illness, or someone who is simply committed to reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in jails, you can play a critical role in this initiative. Sign up today to receive information about how to get involved.


Stepping Up is being led by the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, the National Association of Counties (NACo), and the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, with support from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).


If you, or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, click here for a list of resources.