Mental Health, Policy, and Law

The Mental Health, Policy, and Law concentration is designed to prepare residents to become leaders in forensic psychiatry and mental health advocacy, using their clinical expertise and policy analysis skills to advocate for policies that address challenges facing people with mental illness within the legal system. Residents will work with faculty from UT Southwestern and Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute to gain an understanding of effective advocacy work. Residents will learn how to analyze health-related public policy problems and work toward developing solutions. They also will gain valuable forensic psychiatry experiences, which will both inform their advocacy efforts and help to prepare them for a career in forensic psychiatry.

Concentration Objectives

  • Expand knowledge of forensic psychiatry, including ethics, landmark cases, regulations and statutes governing medical practice, and forensic evaluation and report-writing, as well as correctional psychiatry
  • Gain an understanding of the foundations of U.S. health policy, including understanding the role of key stakeholders
  • Develop expertise in policy analysis and development
  • Improve clinical expertise in caring for forensic patient populations
  • Provide mentorship within the field of forensic psychiatry, including opportunities for scholarship

Concentration Requirements

  • Meet monthly with concentration mentor (a faculty forensic psychiatrist)
  • Participate in forensic clinical electives
    • Forensic Unit of Terrell State Hospital
    • Special Needs Offender Program at Metrocare
  • Participate in mental health policy electives, in which residents will develop individual advocacy projects and work toward implementation, with the mentorship of faculty at UT Southwestern and Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
  • Scholarly work in the areas of forensic psychiatry and/or mental health policy/advocacy
  • Attendance at UT Southwestern Forensic Seminar Series and local Forensic Group meetings