116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
NAMI Linn County to host forum on decriminalizing mental illness
Online event is Tuesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 4, 2021 1:00 pm
CEDAR RAPIDS — On Tuesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m., NAMI Linn County presents an online community forum with a panel of experts and everyday individuals to discuss the criminalization of people with serious mental illness. The conversations will address progressive treatment options, ways to de-escalate a mental health crisis and what improvements are needed.
ABOUT THE EVENT: The past treatment of acute mental health crises may have involved police, jail, or prison sentences. It was a harmful, expensive, ineffective and inhumane treatment often resulting in incarceration rather than behavioral health services. Local efforts to decriminalize mental illness are examined. The aim is to help families, caregivers, behavioral health staff, and all people who interact with someone in a mental health crisis know what services are available and how to seek appropriate help. The goal is to avoid incarcerating persons experiencing a serious mental illness rather than in the mental health system for appropriate treatment.
• Host: Dr. Mona McCalley-Whitters Ph.D, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness Linn County
• Moderator: Carol Meade, UnityPoint Health Cedar Rapids
• Erin Foster, Linn County Mental Health Access Center, Executive Director
• Police Chief Wayne Jerman, City of Cedar Rapids and NAMI Linn County board member
• Leslie Carpenter, NAMI Johnson County family member
• Margaret Warner, NAMI Johnson County volunteer with lived experience
• Brooke Bige, Foundation 2 mental health liaison counselor, Marion Police Department, and NAMI Linn County volunteer
• Dr. Al Whitters, Psychiatrist, medical director at Kingston, Chatham Oaks, Cedar Valley Ranch, and Penn Center Residential Care Facilities
Register in advance for this meeting: