Curious about mental health treatments? Ask the experts with NAMI Florida.
02/02/2021

This free and virtual event will host nationally regarded health experts as they lead discussions on mental illness treatments.

Online PR News – 02-February-2021 – Tallahassee, FL – The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Florida will host the fifth and final installment of the All Together Now Virtual Speaker Series, on February 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The free and virtual “Ask the Expert” program will host nationally regarded health experts as they discuss topics related to various treatments for mental illnesses, embracing the state alliance’s mission of providing education, advocacy and support for people with mental illness and their loved ones. NAMI Florida’s program will host five, 30-minute panel discussions and Q&A sessions on clinical trials, transmagnetic stimulation (TMS), pharmacotherapies as treatment for depression and psychosis, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for traumatic experiences, and long acting injectables in mental illness treatments.

“NAMI Florida’s February event will be an educational day, starting with an introduction to clinical trials followed by information on new treatments for those with mental illness,” shares Stephanie Loomer, Project Manager of Research Services for the Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) and guest speaker for the clinical trial panel. “This event is an opportunity for all in attendance to learn more about what is being worked on in research and how they may get involved.”

The February All Together Now “Ask the Expert” program will be moderated by Carolyn Jones, PhD, NAMI Florida Board of Directors member and recent retiree from Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization, Inc., ending a 22-year career working in the pharmaceutical industry. She will be joined by guest speakers including Stephanie Loomer, Project Manager, Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation; Walter Griffith, Jr, MD; David Scheiderer, MD, Integrative Psychiatry, Inc; Donna Rininger, Director of Specialty Services, Peace River Center; and Soheyla Mahdavian, PharmD, BCGP, TTS, Associate Professor, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) College of Pharmacy.

“Because the modern world demands more of our attention, we’ve become disconnected from our own needs and happiness, leading to a population where anxiety, depression and other mental health issues are common,” says Donna Rininger, Director of Specialty Services for the Peace River Center and guest speaker for the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) as a Treatment for Traumatic Experiences panel. “My desire is that participants will leave NAMI’s virtual program with a sense of hope.”

The program will be divided into five panel discussions:

• Is Clinical Trial Right for You?: Join Stephanie Loomer, as she explains what it means to participate in a clinical trial and how participation can lead to the advancement of science.

• How Can Magnetic Fields Improve My Mood: Transmagnetic Stimulation (TMS): Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among people ages 15 to 44. There are many effective treatments for depression, such as antidepressants and psychotherapy, but they do not work for everyone. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression and is used when other depression treatments fail. Listen to Walter Griffith, MD as he explains the science behind TMS and how it successfully treats depression in persons who require more than an antidepressant.

• New Pharmacotherapies for the Treatment of Depression and Psychosis: Mental disorders account for approximately one-third of disability worldwide and cause enormous burden to individuals and society. Current therapies are very helpful, but there are still many patients who experience partial or no response and unfavorable adverse effects. David Scheiderer, MD will review some of the recent pharmacotherapies that have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of mood and psychotic disorders.

• Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) as a Treatment for Traumatic Experiences: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress resulting from disturbing life experiences. Donna Rininger will explain how to conduct an EMDR session and the success that has been obtained using this technique in the treatment of traumatic experiences and suicidal ideation.

• The Role of Long-Acting Injectables in the Treatment of Mental Illnesses: Long-acting injectables (LAIs) are the slow-release formulation of antipsychotic medicines that deliver the medicine into the bloodstream. Dr. Soheyla Mahdavian will review the medicines that are currently available on the market. She will also explain the Florida Pharmacist LAI Program.

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 access to all previously recorded programs. 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.

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