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Archived Meetings / Events from NAMI Pinellas County


Mar 6th 2008

PEMHS: Pinellas County = 14, 000 Annual BAKER ACT Cases and Crisis Line Calls
TOM WEDEKIND Exec.Dir./CEO and Dr. MARY SHEEHAN Medical Director
Click for Report





Apr 3rd 2008



Iris Award Winners


End the Mystery



June '08

NAMI Meets with Jail Staff By Judy Turnbaugh June 2008


  14,000 Annual BAKER ACT Cases and Crisis Line Calls


FRONT PAGE REPORT  NAMI  Pinellas meeting March 6th

Our sincere thanks to TOM WEDEKIND Exec.Dir./CEO and Dr.MARY SHEEHAN Medical Director PEMHS for their presentation and for fielding our questions.

PEMHS, the Pinellas County receiving facility for Baker Acted individuals deals with an amazing average of 38 cases, and 38 crisis calls per day. Add to that number the walk-ins and voluntary patient cases and you start to realize the magnitude of the operation.

Dr Sheehan explained that the Baker Act is a law that provides for mandatory involuntary mental health evaluation. Some individuals will not meet the criteria and will be released or recommended for further alternative treatment programs.  Some will be transferred to other mental health facilities within the county. Others may stay at PEMHS for stabilzation. 

During the period of involuntary admission (up to 72hrs), the law requires that the patient has to be examined and evaluated. Following the evaluation the patient will be:

(a) Released (unless charged with a crime).

(b) Released for outpatient treatment.

(c) Consent to voluntary placement or

(d) A petition for involuntary placement will be filed with the court by the facility administrator.

If (d) is selected, a court is convened to decide. The patient has the right to contest their status and continued involuntary treatment. The psychiatrist who believes inpatient treatment is necessary or advantageous has to be a witness at this hearing. 

This hearing is held at the treatment facility with attorneys for both sides - the state's attorney advocates for continuing involuntary treatment and the defense, "acting in the best interest of the individual," may press for release. 


Emergency Services – Provides immediate assessment, crisis intervention counseling, referrals, and admission. The suicide prevention hotline is available 24-hours a day.

Crisis Stabilization – Provides brief, intensive services for adults in crisis that include diagnoses, medication, and health education as well as individual and group therapies, recreation activities and discharge planning.

Focused Outreach - Mental Health counseling and support for adults returning to the community after incarceration.  Collaborative program.

In addition PEMHS provides Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Programs (CAPP)



FRONT PAGE REPORT  NAMI  Pinellas meeting April 3rd

Our sincere thanks to 'Team Leaders'  KEVIN MARRONE from BOLEY and LINDA WAGNER from SUNCOAST CENTER    for their Power Point presentation and for fielding our questions.

TEAMWORK IN ACTION - April 3rd '08 Nami Pinellas Meeting

FACT delivers community-based treatment to persons with severe and persistent mental illnesses.

  Our sincere thanks to Kevin Marrone (Boley Centers) and Linda Wagner (Suncoast Center Forensic Team) for their Power Point Presentation
explaining the aims and services provided.

Modeled on a program known as PACT (Programs for Assertive Community Treatment) originally conceived in Madison Wisconsin during the late ‘60s early ‘70s, the Florida FACT (Florida Assertive Community Treatment) was introduced in May of 2000.

The program provides comprehensive community-based individualized treatment to persons with severe and persistent mental illnesses, and the teams operate collaboratively 24 hours per day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.

Studies show that the program facilitates community living and psychosocial rehabilitation of these individuals, and decreases the time persons with severe and persistent mental illnesses spend in hospitals,

Approximately 75% of services are provided in the community in the individual’s natural environment.

Florida started in 2000 with just 8 teams – now there are 32. Here in Pinellas we currently have 3.

One at Boley Centers, (727) 538-9903 ext. 5121, another at Mental Health Resources Centers (MHRC)(727) 449-8331, and one at Suncoast Centers (727) 323-6300 that serves the forensic population in Pinellas and Hillsborough.

Office hours are:  Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.00pm A staff member is working and available until 9:00pm on weekdays and 24 hours on the weekend.

The Teams consist of approx. 12-13 team members:

Team Leader (LMHC or LCSW)


Assistant Team Leader

(3-4) Mental Health Professionals (Masters Degree Level)

(3) Psychiatric Nurses

Vocational Specialist

Substance Abuse Specialist

(1-2) Mental Health Professionals (Bachelors Degree Level)

(1-2) Program Assistant

(1-2) Recovery Coaches

Admission Criteria

The program is for adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses (SPMI), which are psychiatric disorders that cause symptoms and impairments in basic mental and behavioral processes.

These include Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Major Depression.

FACT is appropriate for some individuals who have not been helped by traditional mental health services and experience significant disability from other disorders such as: Obsessive compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, anorexia nervosa, borderline personality disorder, and dissociative identity disorder

Additionally FACT is available to Individuals with significant functional impairments as demonstrated by at least one of the following conditions:

1) Inability to consistently perform the range of basic daily living tasks required for basic functioning in the community OR persistent failure to perform daily living tasks except with significant support or assistance from others; 

2) Inability to be consistently employed at a self-sustaining level or inability to consistently carry out homemaker roles.

3) Inability to maintain a safe living situation (e.g., repeated evictions or loss of housing).

Other Individuals of consideration posess one or more of the following problems, which are indicators of continuous high-service needs (greater than 8 hours of service per month):

1) High use of acute psychiatric hospitalizations (e.g., two or more per year)

2) Intractable severe major symptoms (e.g., affective, psychotic, suicidal)

3) Coexisting substance abuse disorder of significant duration (e.g., greater than six months)

4) High risk or recent history of criminal justice involvement (e.g., arrest and incarceration)

5) Inability to meet basic survival needs or residing in substandard housing, homeless, or at imminent risk of becoming homeless

6) Residing in an inpatient bed or in a supervised community residence, but clinically assessed to be able to live in a more independent living situation if intensive services were provided OR institutional placement or more intensive services are not available

7) Inability to participate in traditional office-based services

A referral is made using the designated FACT referral form.

Referrals usually come from state hospitals, community hospitals, other case management agencies, or DCF Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) offices; however, anyone with appropriate medical & psychiatric information can make a referral to FACT

A FACT team has an “Assertive, Can Do” approach to do whatever it takes to assist a person with mental illness to meet his or her goals.

Individuals with a primary diagnosis of a substance abuse disorder or mental retardation are NOT appropriate for FACT.


Congratulations 2007 Iris Award Winners 
 Chief Dorene Thomas, Pinellas Park Police Department, for your commitment to the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training demonstrated by your attendance at the 40-hour CIT course and by continuing to send officers to CIT.

Sgt. David Fisher, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, for your personal and professional commitment to the CIT Program.

Officer Tonia Nave, St. Petersburg Police Department, for your leadership and commitment to improve the lives of persons with mental illness as a Suncoast Center Board Member, Vice-Chair of the Forensic FACT Advisory Committee, and a CIT Graduate.

Cheryl Bentley, Staff Reporter, The Suncoast News, for your several news articles focusing on the issue of mental illness.

Patricia Pierce, ARNP, Ph.D, Bay Pines VA Healthcare, for your unfailing dedication to the NAMI Family-To-Family Education Program.

Judge Crockett Farnell, Circuit 6, Judicial Court, for your steadfast commitment that ensured persons with mental illness in the Criminal Justice System received appropriate treatment as legally required.

Violet Assaid, Public Defender’s Office, for your many years of commitment to ensure that persons with mental illness receive appropriate legal and medical service.

Elk’s Club, Largo, for your many contributions in support of NAMI Pinellas.

Robin Paris-Bare, Manager, Bealls Outlet, for your support of NAMI events and your cooperation and understanding as an employer of persons with mental illness.

The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast for providing an outstanding meeting facility for NAMI Support and Education meetings.

Melissa Hutton, LPN, PEMHS, for your professional and personal commitment to persons with mental illness, particularly the CIT program, by attending the 40-hour course, writing an article, and promoting CIT.

Jacqueline Harrison, ARNP, Directions for Mental Health, for your outstanding support and service to persons with mental illness in recovery.

Lynn Hill for your unfailing commitment and dedication to the NAMI Family-To-Family Education Program.

Dr. Krishan Batra for your support of NAMI as a Board Member, Guest Speaker, and Workshop Presenter.

Brenda Matthews for your commitment to and involvement in many programs: End-The-Mystery, Silent Auction, the Consumer Council, and Peer-To-Peer Training.

Lisa Poutre for being a driving force for the New Beginnings Recovery Center.

Lori Thomas for being a driving force for the New Beginnings Recovery Center.

Dept. of Mental Health Law & Policy, Louis de la Parte, Florida Mental Health Institute, for your many contributions to improve the lives of persons with mental illness.


 End the Mystery 2007

Bookmark this page for the latest in information regarding NAMI Pinellas' annual End the Mystery celebration.

Arrgghhhhhh, It's Pirate Fest

Ahoy, matey!

Now is the time for all good pirates, their wenches, and land lubbers to save the date for NAMI Pinellas’ annual End the Mystery celebration to benefit the many programs, advocacy efforts, and support groups that NAMI provides throughout our county.

This year our theme is Pirate Fest! Please mark your calendar for Saturday, October 6th at 6:00 pm. This year’s party will be held at Banquet Masters in Pinellas Park.

Please look for your invitations soon for this special bountiful feast complete with grog, awards, a gift auction, whaling ballads, sea shanties, merriment, and frivolity.

Sunset Stroll

This year NAMI Pinellas will end our End the Mystery celebration with a sunset candlelight stroll at North Straub Park in St. Petersburg on Saturday, October 13th, 2007 from 6 to 8 pm.

Remember your End the Mystery t-shirt!

Donor and Sponsor Information

For donor and sponsor information, please contact End the Mystery chairman John Jones at (727) 544-4543.

Your help is greatly appreciated.


Related Files

Donor Information Sheet (Word Document)
End the Mystery Sponsor Information (Word Document)
End the Mystery Wish List (Word Document)
Flyer for Walk (PDF File)
Registration for Walk (PDF File)


NAMI Bowl 2007

Mark your calendar for this exciting fundraiser for NAMI Pinellas!

Are You Ready to Bowl?

The busiest season of the year is just around the corner, and all kinds of sporting events will be scheduled this fall.

Clear your calendar now for the NAMI Bowl 2007 on November 3rd from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Sunrise Lanes in St. Petersburg. It may not be the infamous Outback Bowl, but it will be an event not to be missed!

A registration fee of only $20 includes three free games of bowling, free shoe rental, a NAMI Bowl t-shirt, great door prizes, and a chance to win one free night at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort. Bowlers can form their own teams of four and pre-register as a team.

Bowlers also are encouraged to seek additional support by asking their friends and family members to sponsor them.

In fact, any bowler who participates in the tournament and has at least $100 in paid sponsorships will be eligible to win on of three grand prizes:

  • Weekend get-away at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort
  • Special Tampa Bay Buccaneer Prize Pack
  • Mystery Surprise Prize

Sponsored by Windmoor Healthcare to benefit NAMI Pinellas, the bowling tournament also has opportunities for local businesses to sponsor lanes for only $50.

To register as a bowler or reserve lane sponsorship, please call Brian at 727-541-2646, ext. 1502.

 NAMI Meets with Jail Staff By Judy Turnbaugh June 2008

Four members of the NAMI Pinellas Board of Directors — Richard Durstein, John Jones, Donald Turnbaugh and Judy Turnbaugh – recently met with staff from the Pinellas County Jail to discuss some issues of concern. Major Alexis Davis (commanding officer/jail and detentions), Janice Hill (RN and Health Monitor) and Vicky Scotti (RN and Program Administrator Inmate Health  care) attended the meeting to discuss the following topics:

  Admissions/ Intake Process

Everyone taken to jail is evaluated by an Intake Nurse with both a verbal interview and observation. Many deny having any medical or mental issues. Unless it is determined they require an evaluation, they are put in the general population. Most deny having mental health issues.


Medications are prescribed by Dr. Miller, PCSO Jail Psychiatrist. He determines if a patient requires medication - only he can prescribe them. If patients refuse to take medications, they cannot be forced to take them.

If a person is admitted to jail  and is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, medications are not prescribed until the person detoxes.

If a patient comes from the state hospital and is currently on specific medications, the jail will keep them on those meds.

Dr. Miller has the overall responsibility of the patients.

Medical Unit vs General Population

Those with medical or mental issues could go to the medical unit; however, not everyone does.

Interactions with Mental Health Providers

The jail will attempt to contact organizations providing services and will share medical records with the mental health providers (e.g., Focused Outreach, Case Managers, FACT, etc.) who visit clients.

Interactions with Family  Members and Caregivers

The jail follows HIPPA regulations and cannot release information unless a previously signed Release of Information exists authorizing a specific person to receive information.

Discharge Procedures

Upon release, individuals get a 3- day supply of meds and a list of local resources. No direct followup is provided. 

What can families do?

  Families are encouraged to provide information to the jail. The family liaison is Janice Hill, RN,  MPH, LHRM, Health Services Monitor. She can be reached at [727] 464-6415, extension 49372 or by Fax at [727] 464-7984.

Unless there is a Release of Information, they can only listen to what the family has to report. You can provide a 1-2 page summary of the diagnosis, medications (names, dosages, adverse affects). Include the name of the current mental health provider.

Families and friends can phone or visit the jail during visitation hours. Note: the visitations are via a TV screen. 


Unfortunately, the jails have become the defacto mental health facilities. However, the jail is not a “treatment facility.” This is difficult for all of us to accept when we know that our loved ones need treatment while  incarcerated.

As family members and advocates, we must continue to pursue appropriate treatment so that our loved ones do not go to jail, live homeless on the streets, etc.

To advocate, I urge all of you to use your strength and energies by contacting your legislators and requesting adequate funding (they hold the m o n e y ) for mental health services. The upcoming budget cuts in social services are going to make it more and more difficult to receive treatment and medications. Please write, email or call your legislators and advise them of your personal stories and what happens when a person with a mental illness is not treated.



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