This paper is based on the report following the National Research Agenda Meeting on Mental Health, Justice, and Safety held in Montreal on November 19, 2014, which convened academics; health, social, and legal professionals; and people with lived experience of mental illness from across Canada. The goal was to identify research priorities addressing relevant knowledge gaps and research strategies that can translate into public policy action and improvements in evidence-based services. Participants identified key challenges: (1) inadequate identification and response to needs by civil mental health services and frontline law enforcement, (2) limited specialized resources in forensic and correctional settings, (3) fragmented care and gaps between systems, (4) limited resources for adequate community reintegration, and (5) poor knowledge transfer strategies as obstacles to evidence-based policies. Knowledge gaps were identified in epidemiology and risk reduction, frontline training and programs, forensic and correctional practices, organizations and institutions, knowledge transfer, and rehabilitation. Finally, participants identified potential sources of support to conduct real time research with regard to data collection and sharing. The findings represent a roadmap for how forensic mental health systems can best proceed to address current challenges through research and practice initiatives, drawing from lived, clinical and research experiences of a multidisciplinary group of experts.
Keywords: corrections; forensic mental health; knowledge transfer; research priorities; risk.