Community Forum on Mental Illness Sparks Dialogue

On April 27, 2011, the Schorr Family Award for Distinguished Contribution in Furthering Public Understanding of Mental Illness and Community Forum on Mental Illness was held.

This event was sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in partnership with the Schorr Family, the Arizona Daily Star, Arizona Public Media, Community Partnership of Southern Arizona, Cox Communications, National Alliance on Mental Illness of Southern Arizona.

The forum was entitled, "A Delicate Balance: Creating a better, post-January 8th system to protect the public and help persons with serious mental illness." This free event was held at Centennial Hall on the University of Arizona campus with more than 450 persons attending. University of Arizona President Robert Shelton welcomed attendees.

The award was presented to Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, who gave the keynote address.

President Shelton addressing the audience

National and local experts formed a panel to respond to community members’ questions 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. The panelists were:

  • Neal Cash, president and CEO of Community Partnership of Southern Arizona (CPSA), which oversees public behavioral healthcare in Pima County
  • Kenneth Duckworth, MD, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and assistant professor at Harvard University Medical School
  • Joel A. Dvoskin, PhD, clinical psychologist specializing in forensic psychology and clinical assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine
  • Laurie Flynn, executive director, TeenScreen National Center, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center
  • John J. Pedicone, Jr, PhD, superintendent of Tucson Unified School District (TUSD)
  • Clarke Romans, PhD, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Southern Arizona and family advocate

Ron Barber, district director for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who previously served with the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities for 34 years, gave a final speech under the theme of Seizing the Day.

(Left to right: Dr. Francisco Moreno, Neal Cash, Dr. John Pedicone, Dr. Thomas Insel)

Release Date: 
05/11/2011 - 4:54pm