Six Core Strategies

Six Core Strategies to Reduce the Use of Seclusion and Restraint

Six-Core-Strategya-2The first in a series of articles on this project

The Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement and Innovation (VCPI) is partnering with the Vermont Department of Mental Health to lead a major practice improvement initiative aimed at reducing Emergency Intervention Procedures (EIP) – such as seclusion and restraint - in Vermont hospitals, specifically the three hospitals licensed as Level I facilities to replace the state hospital. This important initiative has been supported by advocates statewide and utilizes “The Six Core Strategies”, an evidence-based clinical model designed for use by institutions providing mental health treatment to adults admitted to inpatient or residential settings. Kevin Huckshorn, RN, MSN, CADC, ICRC - Director for the Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) and an international thought leader on recovery oriented mental health and substance use treatment- has been the leader in Six Core Strategy implementation at SAMSHA and she and her team have been invited to Vermont to conduct the project. The Six Core Strategies have been guiding state and private hospitals and agencies in the US and abroad since 2003. . The Six Core Strategies outline a best-practices approach by highlighting the need for organizational change, data-informed practices, workforce development, and consideration of consumers’ roles in their own care.

VCPI will be working in partnership with DMH, Kevin and her team, participating hospitals and other stakeholders - including the EIP Steering Committee - to provide overall facilitation of the project as well as specific technical assistance and implementation support VCPI will have a critical role in structuring the implementation of the practice as a system-wide partnership to engage in a performance improvement project that will build capacity within the Vermont system to support sustainability of the Six Core Strategies. VCPI will commence initial engagement work with hospital implementation teams at the three Level I hospitals - Brattleboro Retreat, Rutland Medical Center and The Vermont Psychiatric Hospital - in July. Other community hospitals that provide psychiatric acute care services are also welcome to participate in this project. For more information, please contact Sarah Squirrell, Executive Director of VCPI, at


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