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Holiday Party & Annual Meeting

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 – 6:00 p.m.
St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 2198 North Meridian, Tallahassee

The Holiday Party will give our members a chance to get to know new members, visit with old friends and recognize the hard work of our outgoing Board members and committee volunteers. The meat and drinks will be furnished. Please bring a side dish—veggies, salad, dessert, etc. to share with others.

Election of new board members:
The Annual Membership Meeting to elect officers for the 2018 Board of Directors is a requirement of our Bylaws.

There will be three vacancies on the NAMI Tallahassee Board of Directors beginning in 2018.  Members of the board are elected for a three-year term, and are eligible to serve a second three-year term, after which they rotate off the board. After a one-year hiatus, former board members may be elected to another set of two three-year terms.

The recommendation of the 2017 nominating committee for the three vacant positions, serving their first three-year term are as follows:

•Sheila Barbee is a Northwest Florida native who is a dedicated professional with 30+ years of progressively responsible employment working in the field of social services.  She is a graduate of the University of West Florida with a degree in Psychology and a Bachelor’s in Sociology. She began her work in behavioral health in 1985 at the Florida State Hospital as a Rehabilitation Therapist Supervisor. Along with direct client care experience with both juvenile and adult consumers, Sheila has also worked diligently in program analysis, management and continuous quality improvement at the administrative level in behavioral health, facilitating changes and assisting Florida in implementing evidence-based practices and programs. Her work in this initiative reduced consumer wait times and increased access to services across the state. She has experience in writing policy, bills, and reports for the legislature. She is passionate about making high level policy and practice changes that will break stigma barriers and reinvent the culture in not only mental health treatment, but in the community as a whole.

•Alisa “Lisa” Duke grew up in western New York State and moved to Florida in 1979. She went to law school at the University of Florida and then lived in Fort Lauderdale until moving to Tallahassee in 2001. For 30 years she worked as a health care attorney and then in 2016 began working at the Florida State College of Law as a career counselor for law students – a job she enjoys very much.  In 2015 Lisa participated in the Fall Family-to-Family class, taught by Dick Stephens and Christine Waldman. As a result of her great positive experience with that class, she decided to get more involved with NAMI Tallahassee. She joined NAMI and attended many membership and board meetings. She then registered for and took the Teacher Training class in order to teach the Family-to-Family class – which she did with her co-teacher Dian Lyn in the fall of 2017. Lisa’s previous community service activities include five years as co-chair with Chiles High School Project Graduation and several years as a Committee Chair with Tallahassee Area Crew. She also worked many hours with the Chiles High School Music and Theatre Programs. Lisa has two children – Patrick 26 and Kathleen 21 – a dog Lily, and her cat Molly.

•Ashley Evard is 22 years old and moved to Tallahassee in January 2017, becoming involved with NAMI Tallahassee in May of 2017. She is a student at the University of North Florida majoring in Communications. She is an intern at Front Line Strategies, and will serve as an intern in the spring semester, 2018, at the Maddox law firm. Ashley has attended training to become a group facilitator for NAMI Connection, which is a peer support group led by peers, and currently leads a Connection group twice a month. She has shared her story of recovery at the Tallahassee Senior Center, in a Family-to-Family class, and at CIT training. She is also involved with Ending the Silence and has spoken to Leon High School students. Ashley is currently working to share information about NAMI Tallahassee’s programs, particularly NAMI Connection, with behavioral health service providers in the community.

Members in good standing as of the Annual Membership Meeting will be asked to approve these nominees to your NAMI Tallahassee Board of Directors 2018.

Bylaw Revisions:
The bylaws have been updated according to standards set by the national NAMI organization and will be up for approval as well.  The 2017 Board of Directors recommends that members review and ratify these bylaws by vote at the Annual Membership Meeting.  For comparison purposes links are provided for the both the current bylaws and the proposed bylaws below:

Proposed Bylaws
Current Bylaws

Call for Peer Presenters

NAMI is currently looking for:

  1. adults living in recovery or who has a family member living with a mental health condition AND
  2. young adults who are living in recovery to share their personal experience in about identifying, accepting and living with a mental health condition.

If selected you will be trained by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to present Ending the Silence, a mental health awareness classroom presentation for middle and high school age youth. This program provides youth with the unique opportunity to learn about mental health from a two-person team has lived experiences with a mental health condition. The presentation stresses early warning signs and provides resources and tools to help a person or friends/family members who may be experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.

If interested please complete the online application:  Ending the Silence Presenter Application Save




2018 Family-to-Family – Begins January 10 – Register Now

Accepting registration for Family-to-Family 2018
Twelve consecutive weeks.  Register now to ensure space for the fall class, classes are capped at 25 and fill up soon.

 Class Dates: Wednesdays, January 10 through March 21
Location: Apalachee Center
Building J, Education/Conference Room
2634 Capital Circle NE
Tallahassee, FL 32308

There is no fee to attend, but registration is required. To register and for more information>

2017 Bluebird Run – Held Labor Day, September 4

The official Bluebird Run website is

Thank you, thank you to all our sponsors, runners and volunteers who helped make the ” 2017 Bluebird Run for Brookie B”  such a success.  
Held each year on Labor Day since 2015, this is NAMI-Tallahassee’s major local event with a focus on suicide prevention and local postvention.

A salute to our continuing Sustaining Sponsors: The Apalachee Center, Inc.; Liebenhaut Law, PLLPC; Capital Regional Medical Center; Tallahassee Democrat; Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare. Luminiary Sponsors:  Cumulus Tallahassee; Magellan Complete Care; NAMI-Florida; Tallahassee MagazineAdvocate Sponsors:  Darden Real Estate Company; Graphic Press; InSite Media; LamarSupporting Sponsors:  ABC Flooring Center; Cool Beanz Cafe, Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital, Florida State Guardianship Association, Hamrick Insurance Associates; Ron & Natholyn Harris; The Long Forgotten String Band: Manusa Law Firm, PA.

Event History:
NAMI-Tallahassee held the Inaugural Bluebird Run for Brookie B. on Labor Day, Monday, September 7, 2015.  The event, a 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk for suicide awareness, prevention and postvention exceeded our expectations — raising over $23,000. Over 350 runners and walkers traversed the brand new courses at JR Alford Greenway and the Lafayette Heritage Trail. This is more than double what the NAMI Tallahassee organizers originally anticipated.

The Bluebird Run scheduled for Monday, September 5, 2016 was cancelled due to conditions at JR Alford Greenway following Hurricane Hermine. We regret that we were unable to find an appropriate date to reschedule.  Too many other quality events and worthy causes were already scheduled for the remainder of the year – events deserving our support and yours.

Where the Money Goes:
Funds raised are being used to bring suicide prevention and intervention trainings to our area plus what is known as *“postvention” – that is, support for the grief-stricken survivors of suicide loss.

On January 25, 2017, Bluebird funds brought in Dr. Frank Campbell, founder of the LOSS Team concept.  For more information on postvention and local efforts on bringing a Suicide LOSS Team to Tallahassee, refer to an “Overview of Loss Teams,” by Dr. Frank Campbell or visit our LOSS Team webpage regarding the Campbell event.

Funding also enabled two mental health professionals of the LOSS Team of The Big Bend, to attend the April 2017 National LOSS Team Conference.  The theme of the conference was “Strength in Numbers: Engaging the Community in Suicide Postvention.”  It provided an opportunity for mental health professionals, first responders, school counselors, suicide loss survivors, LOSS Team members, and others from the community to learn more about suicide postvention.   The LOSS Team of the Big Bend meets regularly and can be reached for additional information by contacting

Thank you to the many individuals who helped to make this event a great success, Many thanks to all you Bluebirds!

Bluebird Run for Brookie B
Organized by NAMI Tallahassee

Suicides in Leon County:
In 2015, there were 12 homicides in Leon County. There were 33 suicides. In the six-county area comprising Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties, there were 19 homicides and 50 suicides. In 2014 for the state of Florida, there were over 11,000 discrete emergency room visits by citizens who had attempted suicide. Yet – we still don’t talk about suicide.

Brook Bowers ended her life on January 13, 2012. She was 31 years old and diagnosed with depression and borderline personality disorder. As we remember Brook and other families, we need YOUR help to educate our community about mental illness and suicide. Come run, walk or volunteer to help our Bluebird Run be successful for years to come.

Community Support and Response:
NAMI Tallahassee along with our Sustaining Partners, the Apalachee Center, Capital Regional Behavioral Health Center, Liebenhaut Law the Tallahassee Democrat and Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare are determined to begin a community conversation about suicide. Our gratitude to the following sponsors and donors for assisting in this effort:
Tallahassee Mem

Listen to us on WFSU-FM 88.9:

September 9, 2016: Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. The reasons so many people kill themselves and the latest tools and therapies to address the issue: FSU College of Medicine Clinical Psychologist Dr. Heather Flynn; former NAMI-Tallahassee President and suicide survivor Mary Bowers; and Dr. John Bailey from TMS Health Care.

Click image to access interview.

August 13, 2015 : Talking about suicide, its victims and survivors, are Mary Bowers whose daughter Brook took her own life in 2012 and Nancy O’Farrell (both affiliated with NAMI Tallahassee), along with Lee’s Place Founder Brenda Rabalais and Pam Mezzina with Big Bend Hospice.


Click image to access interview.