Mental Health Summit

​​The KJCMH recognizes that improving the lives of justice-involved Kentuckians affected by mental illness, substance use disorder, and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities requires complex, interdisciplinary education and solutio​ns. To that end, the KJCMH hosted a Mental Health Summit to gather vested court partners to explore more effective responses to the needs of individuals experiencing mental illness, substance use, and intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. The Summit provided an opportunity to discuss, develop and implement a comprehensive continuum of responses for Kentucky courts and their communities.

The Mental Health Summit was held on May 31, 2023 through June 2, 2023 at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. There were 1168 registered attendees, over 100 speakers, 64 sessions and 36 exhibitors. The summit featured national speakers from California to Florida in addition to those from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The summit is believed to be the largest gathering of mental-health-involved legal professionals held in Kentucky’s history, thanks in large part to collaborative efforts with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Thanks are also due to Chief Justice VanMeter and Deputy Chief Justice Lambert for their vision and leadership.  

Throughout the summit, attendees had the opportunity to network, exchange ideas, and establish valuable collaborations. Organizations and service providers showcased their initiatives at the exhibit hall, presenting best practice approaches in mental health care delivery and community outreach efforts. 

The agenda was developed by the KJCMH Summit Planning Committee and incorporated the 11 foundational recommendations found in State Court: Leading Change, a publication by the National Judicial Task Force to Examine Courts Response to Mental Illness. These recommendations included reforming the competency system, addressing behavioral health and equity, and including voices of individuals with lived experience. Sessions covered topics including aging with serious mental illness; adolescent substance use trends; behavioral health issues among veterans; and the right to mental health treatment for human trafficking survivors.

Two local action planning sessions grouped attendees by counties or regions to identify priorities for improving how courts and communities respond to individuals experiencing mental illness, substance use disorder and intellectual and/or developmental disab​ilities. Attendees then worked to create strategies for achieving each priority.

In conclusion, the Mental Health Summit served as a powerful platform to address mental health issues holistically. By fostering an inclusive environment, promoting innovation, and prioritizing community collaboration, the Summit made significant strides in raising awareness, encouraging destigmatization, and advancing the accessibility and quality of mental health care. With the insights gained and connections made during this event, participants left with renewed determination to champion mental well-being in their respective communities.