June 3rd , 2013 12:13 pm Leave a comment

Deborah France guest speaker at next NAMI meeting

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National Alliance on Mental Illness-Johnson City will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, June 13, at 7 p.m. at Harrison Christian Church, 2517 Brown’s Mill Road, Johnson City.

Johnson City is a local affiliate of NAMI. The program for the upcoming meeting will be presented by Deborah Cloyd France, who is the program coordinator for the Frontier Health community justice program and the liaison for Washington County.
Crisis intervention teams were introduced in response to community demand to provide safer first responder services.  Training for CITs was developed to assist police to react appropriately to situations involving those with mental illness or developmental disability.

Mental health courts link offenders diagnosed with mental illness to community based treatment instead of incarceration. The courts rely on mental health assessments, individualized treatment plans, and ongoing judicial monitoring to address both mental health needs and public safety concerns. Mental health courts also seek to address the underlying problems that contribute to criminal behavior.

France began working in the justice field with Frontier Health as the Washington County mental health liaison in December of 2000. She has received a bachelor’s degree in corrections and a master’s degree in counseling. Working as a Washington County Sheriff’s Department Reserve officer, she contributed the foundation and knowledge of this liaison position. She has provided mental health training to law enforcement officers throughout the region and is a presenter in Crisis Intervention Training.

“NAMI Johnson City seeks to work cooperatively with the community to end stigma and encourage those with mental illness to access mental health services,” said Diane Nelson, NAMI-Johnson City past-president. “NAMI offers hope and help to family members of those struggling with these brain disorders.”

The program is open to the public and light refreshments will be served.

For more information, call Roz Whittenburg at 741-0583 or Diane Nelson at 282-4828.

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