Virtual Discussions on Mental Health and The Criminal Justice System in Florida
09/29/2020

Join NAMI Florida for in-depth virtual discussions on Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System in Florida, on World Mental Health Day.

Online PR News – 29-September-2020 – Tallahassee, FL – The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Florida will host the second installment of the All Together Now Virtual Speaker Series, on October 10, World Mental Health Day. From 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the free event will focus on mental health and the criminal justice system in Florida. The October program will host two in-depth panel discussions, Jail Diversion Through Mental Health Court and Law Enforcement Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT), led by industry experts. The program will close with the Honorable Scott Plakon, Florida House of Representatives, 29th House District.

“Within the United States’ criminal justice system, there is a disproportionately large percentage of people who identify with mental illnesses and substance disorders,” says Cindy Schwartz, Project Director of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project, Jail Diversion Program and moderator for All Together Now panel, Jail Diversion Through Mental Health Court. “The issues within Florida’s criminal justice system need to be treated holistically through active collaboration among families, as well as community partners like first responders. The challenge is to develop creative solutions to ensure successful access to treatment and recovery for all.”

The first NAMI Florida All Together Now panel, Jail Diversion Through Mental Health Court, will discuss the Definition of Insanity documentary and the Miami-Dade Criminal Mental Health Project (CMHP) efforts, which helps previous jail inmates struggling to rehabilitate their behaviors through diversion to a mental health court, providing wrap-around services to individuals as an alternative to imprisonment.

Panelists:
The Honorable Steve Leifman, Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court, Miami, FL
The Honorable Jerry Demings, Mayor, Orange County, FL
Norman Ornstein, PhD, American Enterprise Institute
Justin Volpe, Peer Support Specialist, Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project, Jail Diversion Program

Moderator: Cindy Schwartz, Project Director, Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court, Miami, FL

The second panel, Law Enforcement Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT), will discuss the impact of CIT in Florida communities. In many communities in Florida and the United States, mental health crisis services are not available to meet the growing demands. Crisis Intervention Teams are innovative, community-based programs designed for training first responders to handle crisis calls involving people with mental illnesses effectively. The programs aid to connect law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency services and individuals living with mental illness and their families.

Panelists:
Habsi Kaba, CIT Coordinator, Eleventh Judicial Court, Miami, FL
Joyce Carbonell, PhD, CIT Training Coordinator, Florida Sheriffs Association
Lt. Charles Kenniff, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

Moderator:
Michele Saunders, LCSW, Chairwoman, Florida CIT Coalition

The upcoming All Together Now Virtual Speaker Series programs are scheduled as follows:
• Saturday, November 14 – Hot Topics in Mental Health, Panel Discussions: NAMI Homefront: Program for Military/Veteran Families; Stressful Days: Dealing with Pandemics, Racial Discrimination, Healthcare Disparities and Economic Challenges
• Saturday, January 9 – Improving Care for the Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Population, Panel Discussions: Supportive Housing Initiatives; Success of Behavioral Health Homes; The Role of Telemedicine in Patient Care; Reducing Hospital Admissions, Readmissions and Emergency Room Visits
• Saturday, February 13 – Ask the Expert, Panel Discussions: How to Decide if a Clinical Trial is Right for You; The Latest News on Transmagnetic Stimulation (TMS); New Pharmacotherapies for the Treatment of Depression and Psychosis; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) as a Treatment for Traumatic Experiences; The Role of Long-Acting Injectables in the Treatment of Mental Illnesses

The virtual series replaces the traditional in-person 2020 NAMI Florida Annual Meeting & Conference.

Registration for NAMI Florida’s All Together Now Virtual Speaker Series is FREE and includes all meeting dates. Register for the All Together Now Virtual Speaker Series at https://namiflorida.org/speaker-series/

About the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Florida

NAMI Florida is the state affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, with its headquarters based in Tallahassee, Florida. Their mission is to improve the quality of life of individuals and their families affected by mental illness through education, support and advocacy. NAMI Florida includes four divisions that reflect this mission: Education and Support, Community Outreach, Advocacy and Public Awareness.