Cherokee County Participates In National Stepping Up Day Of Action

On May 16, 2018 Cherokee County is participating in the national Stepping Up Day of Action to highlight its progress toward reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in the county jail and improving outcomes for the county’s most vulnerable residents. Cherokee County’s Stepping Up Day of Action activities include a health fair and locally and nationally known speakers at the GSCC Cherokee Arena.

While the exact times are TBA, we are excited to announce that we will have the following speakers:

Media Violence Impact on the Developing Mind – Beth M. Hughes, LCSW, PIP, RPT/S, CTT
Beth M. Hughes is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Private Independent Practitioner, Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor, and Certified Trauma Therapist who specializes in the treatment of traumatized children and their families.  She provides clinical supervision and consultation to mental health practitioners and presents training to groups ranging from foster care parents, small groups, to state Supreme Court conferences.  She maintains a full time private practice in Gadsden, Alabama where she is recognized as an expert witness in both civil and criminal cases.  Beth uses the power of our first language, play, through play therapy in sessions with children who are often too scared to talk with words.  She lives in Gadsden, Alabama with her husband, Robert Noone, who is an adoption attorney and champion of the rights of children for over 30 years.

ADHD – Chris A. Zeigler Dendy, M.S and Dr. Kathleen Duryea
Chris A. Zeigler Dendy M.S. is a nationally recognized expert on ADHD, author of several books and speaks nationally and internationally on ADHD.
Dr. Kathleen Duryea, Floyd Urgent Care Center in Centre, AL, has extensive in-depth training and specializes in ADHD treatment.

Dynamics of Domestic Violence and Services Available to Victims – Susan Shipman, Executive Director 2nd Chance Org.

Cherokee-Etowah-Dekalb (CED) Mental Health – Shelia Hurley
“Our goal at CED Mental Health Center is to provide public and private funded mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention services with dignity and respect.”
CED will be offering presentations on Mental Health 1st Aid: What is it and how to bring it to your Community Group; Mental Illness and Services Across Different Populations and Drug Prevention and Awareness.

We will also have information tables by:

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Centre, AL Affiliate group
  • CED Mental Health
  • Gadsden Regional Medical Center, Behavior Health Services – Community Outreach Coordinator 
  • Extended Family for Kids
  • Chris A. Zeigler Dendy, M.S and Kathleen Duryea

“Cherokee County is proud of the progress we have been making toward implementing innovative solutions to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in our jail.” said Cherokee County Commissioner Marcie Foster. The county’s efforts began when the Commission passed a resolution to join Stepping Up on August 14, 2017.

Stepping Up is a national initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails.
Led by the National Association of Counties, the American Psychiatric Association Foundation and The Council of State Governments Justice Center, Stepping Up provides counties with a framework and tools for creating a collaborative, system-wide plan to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in the county jail in ways that not only improve public safety but promote positive outcomes for individuals with mental illnesses, their families and their communities.

“Cherokee County joined Stepping Up to show its commitment to working collaboratively across systems to change the way law enforcement and other county agencies respond to people experiencing mental health crises,” said Probate Judge and Commission Chair Tim Burgess.

Today, Cherokee County joins its peers from across the country who are participating in the national Stepping Up Day of Action to share progress in the county and raise public awareness of the issues facing individuals with mental illnesses, particularly those who are involved in or at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system More information on the national Stepping Up initiative is available at:
www.StepUpTogether.org.

Anyone interested in participating in this event should contact Commissioner Foster at marciefoster@cherokeecounty-al.gov or (256)927-3668 or (256)526-4000

State of Alabama
County of Cherokee

Stepping Up Day of Action – May 2018

 “Stepping Up Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails”

WHEREAS, counties routinely provide treatment services to the estimated 2 million people with serious mental illnesses booked into jail each year; and

WHEREAS, Cherokee County, and all counties take pride in their responsibility to protect and enhance the health, welfare and safety of their residents in efficient and cost-effective ways; and

WHEREAS, the National Association of Counties, The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation started Stepping Up to encourage public, private and nonprofit partners to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails;

WHEREAS, Cherokee County, joined Stepping Up on August 14, 2017 to show its commitment to working on this issue locally; and

WHEREAS, Stepping Up is hosting a Day of Action on May 16, 2018, for counties to hold an event or participate in local activities to share with constituents the progress they have made in addressing the prevalence of people who have mental illnesses in their jails; raise public awareness and understanding of this important issue; and emphasize their commitment to creating data-driven, systems-level changes to policy and practice to achieve their Stepping Up goals.

WHEREAS, Cherokee County’s Day of Action will be held at the Gadsden State Community College Cherokee Campus with an open invitation to the public; and

NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED, THAT the Cherokee County Commission, does hereby proclaim May 16, 2018 as the Cherokee County Stepping Up Day of Action and encourage all county officials, employees and residents to participate in or host associated activities or events.

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