PUBLIC FORUM: ‘A Delicate Balance: Creating a Better Post-Jan. 8 System to Protect the Public and Help Persons with Serious Mental Illness’

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 1:45pm to 5:00pm
In the wake of the Jan. 8 shootings in Tucson, the UA College of Medicine partners with other organizations to present a free forum featuring national and local experts in a public discussion of mental illness and the need for mental health services in the community.
 
Keynote speaker Thomas R. Insel, MD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, will be honored with the Schorr Family Award for Distinguished Contribution in Furthering Public Understanding of Mental Health.
 
Panelists include Ron Barber, district director for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (both Rep. Giffords and Barber were seriously injured in the Jan. 8 attack).

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In response to the Jan. 8 shootings in Tucson, the University of Arizona College of Medicine is partnering with other community organizations to host the Schorr Family Award and community forum, “A Delicate Balance: Creating a Better Post-Jan. 8 System to Protect the Public and Help Persons with Serious Mental Illness,” Wednesday, April 27, 1:45 to 5 p.m., at UA Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., Tucson.
 
The UA College of Medicine is joining the Arizona Daily Star, Community Partnership of Southern Arizona (CPSA), Cox Communications and the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Southern Arizona (NAMISA) to provide this free public discussion of the need for and process of obtaining mental health services in the community. These partners recognize the urgency for action to address mental illness as a public-health issue affecting not just individuals and their families, but the entire community.
 
The forum is an opportunity for community members to learn and talk about mental illness, its effect on individuals and those close to them, and the current state of mental health services in Southern Arizona and the nation.
 
Nationally known and local experts – several of whom have family members with a mental illness – will speak, followed by an hour-long question-and-answer session with the audience. Panelists will address the issues of crime and mental illness, the need for early identification and intervention in cases of possible mental illness, and the role of individuals and public institutions such as schools in identifying and intervening in those cases. Discussion also will include available resources to meet the need for mental health services – especially in light of recent state cuts to mental health services – and needed changes.
 
Keynote speaker Thomas R. Insel, MD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, will be honored as the 13th recipient of the Schorr Family Award.
 
Panelists include:
 
·       Ron Barber, district director for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. (Both Rep. Giffords and Barber were seriously injured in the Jan. 8 attack.)
 
·       Moderator Nicholas Breitborde, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Psychiatry, UA College of Medicine; director, Early Psychosis Intervention Center (EPICENTER) at University Physicians Hospital.
 
·       Neal Cash, president and CEO, CPSA, which oversees public behavioral health-care services in Pima County.
 
·       Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI); assistant professor, Harvard University Medical School.
 
·       Joel Dvoskin, PhD, clinical psychologist and assistant professor, Department of Psychiatry, UA College of Medicine.
 
·       Laurie Flynn, executive director, TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University.
 
·       John Pedicone, PhD, superintendent, Tucson Unified School District.
 
·       Clarke Romans, executive director, NAMISA; family advocate.
 
Eleanor (Ellie) and Si Schorr established an endowment in 1995 to create the Schorr Family Award for Distinguished Contribution in Furthering Public Understanding of Mental Health, honoring individuals and organizations. Ellie has taught at the UA and is a former Pima County deputy public defender, Justice of the Peace, member of the Arizona State Legislature, founder and past president of NAMISA, board member and officer of NAMI, and member of the advisory board of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Center. Si is a senior partner at Lewis and Roca, and most recently was chair of the State Transportation Board and the Regional Transportation Authority.
 
More information about the Schorr Family Award community forum event is available on the CPSA website, www.cpsa-rbha.org