Speakers

Xavier Amador

Xavier Amador, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned clinical psychologist and leader in his field. His books, published clinical research, worldwide speaking tours and extensive work in schizophrenia, bipolar and other disorders have been translated into 30 languages. He is also the CEO of the Henry Amador Center on Anosognosia and a family caregiver of two close relatives with serious mental illness.

Author of many popular books, including I’m Right, You’re Wrong, Now What?; I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help!; and When Someone You Love Is Depressed: How to Help Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself, Amador draws on 30 years of experience as a therapist, his personal story and published scientific research when giving advice.

From 1989 to 2002, Amador was on the medical school faculty at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 2002, Amador resigned from a tenured faculty position at Columbia University and as director of psychology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute to honor his commitment to families that asked him to help educate mental health practitioners, family caregivers and others about anosognosia and science-based practices proven to help persons with serious mental illness.

Amador was not only keeping a promise he made but also responding to his frustration as a clinical researcher who saw much-needed knowledge stranded in professional journals rather than in the hands of clinicians, families, law enforcement, judges and legislators attempting to address the needs of persons with severe and persistent mental illness.

At that time, he was appointed director of the Center for Research Education and Practice at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, where he founded NAMI’s Scientific Council; nationally launched NAMI’s signature Family to Family, Peer to Peer and In Our Own Voices programs; and started NAMI’s national initiative on assertive community treatment. After his tenure on staff, he resigned to serve on the board of directors at NAMI.

He is a visiting professor of psychology at the State University of New York and, over the course of two decades, he was professor of psychiatry and clinical psychology at Columbia University and director of psychology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He served as co-chair of the Schizophrenia and Psychotic Disorders section of the DSM-IV-TR.

His expertise has been called upon by government, industry and the broadcast and print media, where he has frequently appeared as an expert.

Cassandra Bailey

Cassandra Bailey is a detective with the Albuquerque Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Unit, engaging with individuals in crisis to mitigate risks and tragedies. She holds certifications in crisis intervention, enhanced crisis intervention, child abuse response evaluator and has received specialized training in threat management, negotiations, performance driving, substance use disorders, tactical wound care, among many more. Her unique role and ambition, has led her to being awarded a proclamation from the City Council for her courage with apprehending repeat violent offenders and officer of the month.

Bailey served on the Mental Health Response Advisory Committee for Albuquerque providing guidance and made recommendations for law enforcement reform. She strives to go beyond the traditional role of law enforcement to help individuals in crisis navigate the systems to transitions their lives for a healthier outcome.

Amy Boone

 Amy Boone is the lead Mental Health Peer Specialist for the Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program and Mental Health Jail Diversion Program for Tarrant County, Texas. She is a certified peer support supervisor, mental health peer specialist, and recovery support peer specialist. Boone is also a contract trainer with Via Hope. She has been working in the helping field as a peer for 12 years. Her passion is supporting others who are on their journey of recovery and learning new ideas that challenge her previously held beliefs.

Boone’s goals include continuing her education as a Mental Health Peer Specialist and contract trainer, developing peer programs for use within the community, and helping new peers develop their skills for working with those who are also in recovery.

Boone enjoys spending time with her family and working on self-care. She is currently busy training her foster puppy, which she decided to adopt after many sleepless nights of bottle feeding.

Laura Braun

Laura Braun is the program manager for the Albuquerque, New Mexico, Assisted Outpatient Treatment program in Bernalillo County. Her primary responsibilities include program implementation and oversight, education, outreach and community stakeholder collaboration.

Prior to joining AOT in 2020, Braun worked in a variety of mental health care settings, including outpatient case management, adolescent inpatient psychiatric care, treatment foster care, education and the court system.

Braun received her bachelor’s degree in family studies and psychology from the University of New Mexico in 2000. She has over 20 years of experience working in adult and adolescent mental health.

Leslie Carpenter

Leslie Carpenter is a co-founder of Iowa Mental Health Advocacy, a lobbyist in the Iowa legislature and an advocate on behalf of people with serious brain illness.

She is a retired physical therapist who now works to improve the mental health treatment system. She serves on the NAMI Iowa board of directors and teaches mental health providers. She provides advocacy presentations to a wide variety of audiences to help people to understand the causes of the mental health crisis, to humanize it and to share practical solutions.

Carpenter is leading an effort in the Sixth Judicial District in Iowa to create an assisted outpatient treatment program in conjunction with Iowa’s first civil mental health court.

Carpenter and her husband, Scott, have two adult children, one of whom lives with a severe schizoaffective disorder. Carpenter and her husband received the Isabel Turner Award from the Iowa City Human Rights Commission in 2020 for their advocacy work.

Daniela Chisolm

Daniela M. Chisolm is a contract attorney for Treatment Advocacy Center, providing legal advice and guidance on the implementation of policy and state-specific legal standards for assisted outpatient treatment. A licensed attorney, Chisolm has spent 10 years in private practice at her law firm in El Paso, Texas. She specializes as the attorney ad litem for mental health respondents in inpatient and outpatient court commitment hearings. She is also the attorney ad litem for participants in the El Paso assisted outpatient treatment program. Her other areas of practice include federal and state criminal defense, juvenile criminal defense and probate.

She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Texas A&M University School of Law in 2011 and a bachelor’s degree in history from Texas A&M University in 2008. Chisolm is the mental health mentor for the internship program of El Paso Probate Court No. 1. She also provides pro bono legal services to Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services in its unaccompanied minors immigration program. Chisolm is a passionate and zealous advocate for the protection of her mental health clients’ rights.

Lisa Dailey

Lisa Dailey is the executive director of Treatment Advocacy Center, leading an energetic team to improve state and federal civil commitment laws and promote evidence-based policies to positively affect those with severe mental illness. Dailey joined Treatment Advocacy Center in 2015, bringing many years of nonprofit policy and advocacy experience. Her prior work includes representing refugees seeking asylum in the United States, in addition to serving for many years as a human rights and civil liberties litigator.

Dailey received a master’s in law degree from the University of Oxford after earning a Juris Doctor degree from Hamline Mitchell School of Law and bachelor’s degrees in psychology and English from Macalester College.

Kathy Day

Kathy Day, MPA, is currently the caregiver, advocate, and conservator for her family member who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2010. She is active in local, state, and national advocacy to promote the need for family involvement for their loved ones’ mental healthcare. Her experience in advocacy and in navigating the system of mental healthcare gives her a unique perspective on the challenges families encounter when searching for resources for their loved ones.

In September of 2021, Day joined the team at the Treatment Advocacy Center as the senior family liaison. In this role, Day locates resources for families across the country to assist and coach them to find help for their family members. Day also co-manages a Facebook support page and writes a blog about her experience navigating the system of care.

Daniel Garza

Daniel Garza, M.D., has been the medical director of the Assisted Outpatient Treatment, or Kendra’s Law, program for Queens County of New York City since the program’s inception in November 1999. He works for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for New York City and is on the faculty at the NYU Langone School of Medicine. He has been the psychiatrist at an LGBTQ+ adolescent primary care clinic and for foster care group homes serving LGBTQ+ teens, both for about 20 years, and he maintains a private practice in Manhattan. Prior to the AOT program, he was the medical director for a mobile crisis unit in New York City.

Garza was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency in psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and a postdoctoral fellowship in public psychiatry at Columbia. He teaches regularly at both the local and national levels on adolescent mental health, commitment law, the health of racial and sexual minorities, and substance abuse.

Brooke Gentry

Brooke Gentry joined Treatment Advocacy Center in August of 2022. As the AOT Implementation Coordinator, her responsibilities include supporting and building upon the current work and successes of TAC’s implementation team through network building, coordinating and promoting activities, and organizing departmental business. In particular, she focuses on managing AOT Learning Network activities.

Prior to joining Treatment Advocacy Center, Gentry spent over two years coordinating programming at a non-profit dedicated to alleviating the financial burden of cancer in young adults. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

As a family member of a person with serious mental illness, Gentry is excited and energized to be part of a team and organization making a difference in the lives of those impacted by SMI.

Cindy Gipson

Cindy Gipson has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and a 30-year career in mental health. Gipson has worked in the Alabama state psychiatric hospital system, and as a first responder in Central Texas doing mobile crisis outreach. Gipson is an associate professor in the psychiatry department at the University of South Alabama Medical School and has been with AltaPointe Health for the past ten years, developing crisis and criminal justice diversion services to address the growing disparity in treatment for people living with mental illness and co-occurring disorders.

Gipson has written and implemented grants for Assisted Outpatient Treatment in Mobile and Baldwin Counties and several Bureau of Justice Assistance Police Mental Health Collaborative grants. She is the associate director of crisis services and heads up the Behavioral Health Crisis Center, located in Mobile, providing, 23-hour and extended observation for individuals in a behavioral health crisis.  Gipson has received awards from NAMI Mobile, NAMI Baldwin, and NAMI Alabama for advocate of the year and champion for mental health.

Michael Gomez

Michael Gomez is the trial team chief for the Mental Health Litigation Unit at the El Paso County Attorney’s Office. He oversees all aspects of mental health litigation pertaining to involuntary civil commitments. He also provides training to law enforcement personnel, crisis intervention teams, hospital staff and local health authorities.

Throughout his legal career, Gomez has dedicated his career to public service and represented the State of Texas and El Paso County in cases involving appeals, employment and labor, juvenile prosecution, environmental litigation, nuisance abatement, civil rights and deceptive business practices. He has been an active member for several boards, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the El Paso Young Lawyers Association and the Advocacy Center for Children of El Paso.

Gomez was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He earned an undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at El Paso and a Juris Doctor from DePaul College of Law in Chicago, Illinois.

Michael Gray

Michael Gray is director of advocacy at Treatment Advocacy Center. He works in multiple states toward better civil commitment laws, access to mental health care for people with the most severe cases of mental illness, and decriminalization of serious mental illness.

Prior to joining Treatment Advocacy Center, Gray was the executive director of NAMI Louisville from 2013 until 2015, when he began lobbying the Kentucky legislature full time for stronger and more effective mental health laws. In 2017, he represented NAMI Kentucky and other groups that passed Tim’s Law, Kentucky’s assisted outpatient treatment statute.

Gray received a Juris Doctor, a master’s degree in urban planning, and bachelor’s degrees in history and philosophy from the University of Louisville.

Mindy Greiling

Mindy Greiling served in the Minnesota legislature for 20 years, including 14 after her son, Jim, was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. She initiated the first state bipartisan mental health caucus. She currently serves on the Schizophrenia and Psychosis Action Alliance board and is the immediate past president of her NAMI chapter. She served on the Minnesota and national NAMI boards.

Greiling earned a bachelor’s degree at Gustavus Adolphus College and a master’s degree at the University of Minnesota. In addition to Jim, she and her husband, Roger, have a daughter, Angela Greiling Keane, who is news director for Bloomberg Government. Greiling has received numerous awards, has recently authored Fix What You Can: A Lawmaker’s Fight for Her Son, and co-hosts the podcast Schizophrenia: Three Moms in the Trenches.

Elizabeth Hancq

Elizabeth Sinclair Hancq is the director of research for Treatment Advocacy Center. Hancq leads the organization’s Office of Research and Public Affairs and works with Treatment Advocacy Center staff and outside researchers to carry out its research agenda. She has co-authored multiple ORPA reports that have been cited in national media, including the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, and has generated statistics that have been used as testimony by government officials in the highest levels of office. In addition, Hancq has published articles in prestigious academic journals including JAMA Psychiatry and Nature Communications.

Hancq joined ORPA as a part-time research assistant tasked with collecting state hospital bed information for the fourth state survey of psychiatric beds, Going, Going, Gone. Since then, her thoughtfulness, thoroughness and statistical training have made her a critical contributor to ORPA’s work and the mission of Treatment Advocacy Center.

Hancq has previously worked in community health quality improvement and public health program implementation and evaluation in Washington, D.C. Prior to her work in public health, Hancq served as a research assistant at Georgetown University Lombardi Cancer Center and as a research scientist in behavioral neuroscience at McGill University.

Hancq earned a master of public health degree in prevention and community health from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a bachelor’s degree in physiology and neuroscience from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Greg Hansch

Greg Hansch, LMSW, serves as the executive director of NAMI Texas. He joined NAMI Texas in 2012 and has previously served in government affairs roles. In his current role, he is responsible for providing direction and leadership toward the achievement of NAMI Texas’ mission.

Hansch is a licensed master’s-level social worker and a family member of a person with serious mental illness. He received a master’s degree in social work with a concentration in nonprofit and public management from Rutgers University and a bachelor’s degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland. He is an alumnus of the Policy Academy of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at the University of Texas at Austin. One of his proudest professional achievements is earning NAMI’s Richard T. Greer Advocacy Award for “his outstanding work, leadership and service on behalf of all people living with mental illness.”

Monalisa Jiles

Monalisa Jiles, LPC, NCC, LMFT, LBSW, serves as the vice president of mental health forensic services for the Harris Center for Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. In her current role, she is responsible for providing leadership to the adult and juvenile justice programs managed by her teams. The programs she leads are collaborations with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Juvenile Probation, the Community and Corrections Department (also known as Adult Probation) and Harris County Resources for Children and Adults.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Emory University and a master’s degree in counseling from Sam Houston State. She is a licensed professional counselor and marriage and family therapist in the state of Texas. She is a licensed baccalaureate social worker and is nationally certified as a counselor. Jiles is a member of Treatment Advocacy Center’s board of directors and is a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum, Criminal Justice Class 2. Her motto is to be a light in the midst of darkness.

Betsy Johnson

Betsy Johnson joined Treatment Advocacy Center in February 2016. As implementation specialist, her responsibilities include advocating for the elimination of barriers to the successful treatment of individuals with serious mental illness.

Previously, Johnson served as the associate executive director of NAMI Ohio for more than 10 years. While in this position, she was responsible for policy and legislative advocacy, criminal justice activities and communications, and she helped lead the effort to pass S.B. 43, Ohio’s assisted outpatient treatment law.

Before joining NAMI Ohio, Johnson was the associate CEO of the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities. She has also worked for the Ohio departments of Job and Family Services and Youth Services, and served as a legislative aide in the Ohio Senate. Prior to moving to Columbus, Ohio, Johnson worked in Washington, D.C., for a member of Congress. Johnson earned a degree in political science from the University of Houston.

Melody Joiner

Melody Joiner is an integrated services coordinator for Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Services–Community Access to Recovery Services, serving as the project director of the assisted outpatient treatment program and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the SAMHSA grant.

Joiner has been an employee of Milwaukee County for more than 11 years and has more than 22 years of experience in the human services field, which includes the areas of child welfare, county and federal-level corrections, county and state-level child support and behavioral health. Joiner is a proud member of the international, historically African American sorority, Zeta Phi Beta.

Joiner earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Carroll University, a master’s degree in criminal justice administration–public service from Marquette University and a master’s of business administration from Columbia Southern University.

Oscar Kazen

Judge Oscar J. Kazen is the presiding judge of Texas’ Bexar County Probate Court No. 1. He previously served as associate probate judge for the same court and presided over Bexar County Court at Law No. 9. He has served his community as a jurist since 2002 and has presided over 100 jury trials without reversal or remand.

As the current judge presiding in Probate Court No. 1, he is tasked with protecting the most vulnerable of his community. From guardianships to mental health, and from probate to eminent domain, his court deals with a variety of life’s most important issues.

Kazen is a graduate of the University of Texas and Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He is a former United States Marine and is married to Melissa.

Kana Lastovica

Kana Lastovica is the project director for the Houston Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program. She has spent the last 10 years working with The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD under various programs, obtaining well-rounded experience in the mental health arena, including time as a program manager for the agency’s Integrated Care program.

A licensed clinical social worker, Lastovica has spent the last two years working in partnership with the Harris County Probate Court #3 and the Harris Country Psychiatric Center to expand services provided in the county under the AOT program. She values her role in assisting consumers break down barriers and move towards independence.

Lastovica earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, a master’s degree in child development from Erikson Institute and a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago.

Amy Lukes

Amy Lukes is the director of AOT implementation at Treatment Advocacy Center. She provides clinical consultation to the more than 20 jurisdictions new to implementing AOT and oversees Treatment Advocacy Center’s contribution to the SAMHSA-funded Clinical Support System for Serious Mental Illness.

Lukes is a licensed independent clinical social worker who brings a different perspective to Treatment Advocacy Center, having worked for 17 years in community mental health settings with populations living with severe mental illness, including those on assisted outpatient treatment. Prior to joining the organization, she worked at Northeast Ohio Medical University overseeing projects related to suicide prevention, evidence-based treatment for opiate addiction and assisted outpatient treatment. Alongside the Implementation Department, she co-authored the Ohio AOT Implementation Manual with Mark Munetz, M.D.

Lukes has experience implementing several evidence-based treatments for severe mental illness, including assertive community treatment, integrated dual disorder treatment, Housing First, and individual placement and support. She began her career as a case manager serving people dually diagnosed with severe mental illness and a substance use disorder.

Lukes graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a master’s in social administration. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College.

Corey Minor Smith

The New York Times captured the dramatic scope of Corey Minor Smith’s life when it described her as “a fascinating woman who moved 21 times and attended 14 different schools before graduating high school, [has a loved one living with schizophrenia], became a mother her senior year of college, and eventually went to law school and became a successful attorney.” These experiences, along with becoming a trained facilitator for NAMI, have paved the way for Smith’s mental health advocacy work. With a national profile as a mental health and wellness advocate, Smith has appeared in numerous national media outlets, including the syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club. An author, Smith contributed to the Audible Original We’ve Got Answers and penned a powerful memoir, #Driven, which was hailed as “searing and moving” by The New York Times and featured as an Amazon Celebrity Pick. Smith’s consulting talents and inspirational words have also benefited Fortune 500 companies such as ViacomCBS, Xerox and iHeartMedia.

Smith was born in Canton, Ohio, and educated at Bowling Green State University, where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She earned a Juris Doctor at the University of Toledo. Smith’s legal career spans more than 20 years and has been dedicated to public service. She served as an assistant prosecutor, a judicial attorney and a mayoral cabinet member before serving as general counsel for the same public housing authority that provided housing for her and her family. Smith made history as the first African American to be elected to a citywide position when she received the most votes, over five other candidates, to serve as an at-large member of Canton City Council. Currently, Smith is appointed to serve with the Biden-Harris Administration as senior counsel for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In this role, she provides support to the Office of General Counsel under the direction of General Counsel Damon Smith and the leadership of HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge.

Smith has received numerous accolades and awards, including the NAACP–Stark County Image Award, the NAMI–Stark County Starfish Award, the Boy Scouts of America Buckeye Council Spirit of Scouting Award and the She Elevates Women of Courage Award. She was inducted into the YWCA Women’s Hall of Fame and was named an ATHENA International Women’s Leadership Finalist. Along with being a philanthropist and being actively involved with a host of organizations and programs, Smith is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority and the Bowling Green State University Alumni Board. Smith lives in Washington, D.C., and has two adult sons.

Itzel Moya

Itzel Moya is director of the Assisted Outpatient Treatment Project for NAMI Kansas. Moya oversees and manages the NAMI Kansas scope of work and supervises the assisted outpatient treatment specialists assigned to the six assisted outpatient treatment project sites.

Moya has been a member of NAMI since January 2020. She is an advocate for bringing more mental health resources to Western Kansas, a primarily rural area. Moya was one of the founding members of the NAMI Southwest Kansas Steering Committee and has been chair of NAMI Southwest Kansas since April 2021.

Moya earned a bachelor’s in social work through Fort Hays State University in 2020. She earned a master’s in clinical social work, also through Fort Hays State University, in 2021.

Sabah Muhammad

Sabah Muhammad is legislative and policy counsel with Treatment Advocacy Center, part of a team of advocates working to improve state and federal commitment laws and promote evidence-based policies to positively affect those with severe mental illness.

Muhammad joined Treatment Advocacy Center in 2019, bringing many years of nonprofit and grassroots advocacy experience. Her prior work includes serving as a public defender in Henry County, Georgia; promoting college and career readiness with the Scholarship Academy; and advancing community servant leadership through AmeriCorps Atlanta. Prior to receiving a Juris Doctor from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Muhammad received a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University.

Mark Munetz

Mark R. Munetz, M.D., is professor and chair emeritus at Northeast Ohio Medical University. Munetz served as the Margaret Clark Morgan Chair of Psychiatry at NEOMED from 2007 to 2019. He directed community psychiatry at NEOMED and was medical director for the County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board from 1992 to 2012, where he helped develop and sustain one of the first assisted outpatient treatment programs in Ohio. At NEOMED, Munetz developed the Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence, the Ohio Program for Campus Safety and Mental Health, and the Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment Center.

In 2021, Munetz was honored with a Judge Stephen S. Goss Memorial Award by the Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative of the Council of State Governments and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation. He has held faculty positions at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Massachusetts and Case Western Reserve University.

Praveen Narahari

Praveen Narahari, M.D., received his medical degree from N.T.R. University of Health Sciences – Kakatiya Medical College, Warangal, India, in 2005. He also obtained a Master’s in Community Nutrition from Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky, in 2008. Later, he volunteered as a research assistant at the University of Louisville Department of Psychiatry, Louisville, Kentucky, before beginning his residency in adult psychiatry at the University of South Alabama in 2009. He served as Chief Resident of Psychiatry at the University of South Alabama. He also served on the Graduate Medical Education Committee as a Member-In-Training Representative at the University of South Alabama. He received the Red Sash Award from the U.S.A. medical student class of 2015 for making significant contributions to medical education.

Narahari’s special interests are addiction medicine, biological psychiatry, and psychopharmacology. He has extensive experience treating patients under involuntary evaluation and providing expert witness testimony for outpatient commitments. He is board certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine. He speaks English, Hindi, and Telugu.

Michael Ohlsen

MAJ Michael D. Ohlsen, LSCSW, BCD is the Forensic Team Leader for Johnson County Mental Health Center located in the Kansas City, KS area.  He has over 25 years of experience working in forensic mental health.  His team works alongside various community partners to implement the county AOT program, Veterans Treatment Court, Mental Health Diversion programs, Prison Re-Entry programs, Community Correction Outpatient Services, and Competency Evaluation Services.

MAJ Ohlsen is a commissioned Behavioral Science Officer in the US Army with 12 years of service to include one combat deployment.  He continues to serve in the Kansas Army National Guard in reserve status providing mental health services to uniformed service members in various capacities.

Amy Parsons

Judge Amy Parsons is the associate judge of Texas’ Harris County Probate Court No. 3 and has served in this capacity since 2016. She hears uncontested guardianship, heirship/administration and civil mental health assisted outpatient treatment dockets. She also hears probate, civil mental health, criminal court–ordered medication and ancillary dockets as assigned by the presiding judge.

Parsons previously served as the court’s guardianship court investigator and its staff attorney for litigation and mental health. Prior to joining the court, she served as a court-appointed legal guardian in the local Harris County indigent guardianship program.

Parsons received a bachelor’s in social work from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Houston. She received a Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law. She is a licensed master social worker and a nationally certified guardian.

David Rose

David Rose is an MHPS, PSS, NCPRSS and RC with the Assisted Outpatient Treatment program at The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD in Houston, Texas. Rose holds certifications for peer specialist training with Harris Country and the State of Texas, as well as training in trauma-informed peer support. Rose has helped build two pilot programs: the 1185 Jail Diversion Program and the Judge Ed Emmett Jail Diversion Program. He is now helping build the AOT program.

Rose is in long-term recovery. Coming from a 38-year history of alcohol and substance abuse, along with severe major depression, Rose knows the value of peer support. While in his recovery journey, Rose decided the best way to stay with his own program was to work in recovery. He is extremely passionate about helping others recover. His favorite saying is “ITE” (I’m the evidence).

Rose believes that peer support is knowing how to take all your past and present experiences — good and bad, painful or not — and use them to transform your life and inspire hope in others. Rose believes the definition of recovery is “remembering who you are and becoming all that you can be.”

Today, Rose is highly active in the AOT program. He offers peer support on an individual basis as well as leading a group that he created called The End Game. The group helps participants create a compelling vision for themselves and promotes empowerment for self-direction. He has also worked with recovery programs in jails, including face-to-face meetings with inmates in the jail pods. Rose works closely with practice mangers, clinical team leaders, care coordinators, LCDCs, LPHAs, jail staff and psych techs as well as with in-house treatment facilities and transitional living facilities in local communities.

Jeanine Schandel

Jeanine Schandel is a peer support specialist for the Milwaukee County Community Access to Recovery Services (CARS) Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team as part of the Assisted Outpatient Treatment program. Schandel works full time, mainly in the community setting, providing services directly to consumers in need and who are court-ordered to receive mental health treatment services. Her responsibilities include developing wellness recovery action plans to help consumers live independently in the community. She acts as an advocate for those she works with, supporting consumers in any way she can, including participating in the treatment planning process.

Schandel considers it an opportunity to walk with consumers as a personal cheerleader, assuring them they are not alone. She creates a peer-to-peer relationship with consumers by encouraging them, letting them know she is there to listen, sit with them, let them scream or cry and whatever else they may need.

Prior to joining the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services, Schandel worked for five years in a women’s residential treatment facility. As a certified peer specialist, Schandel has her own experiences with both mental health and substance use disorders and is celebrating over 17 years clean. She is also a massage therapist and a former chiropractic technician. Schandel has four children and three grandchildren, along with two cats.

Cindy Schwartz

Until recently, Cindy Schwartz served as the project director of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida Criminal Mental Health Project–Jail Diversion programs. Her career goals have been focused on promoting system transformation, community integration and recovery for individuals who experience serious mental illnesses. Schwartz has a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a master’s degree in business administration from Nova Southeastern University. She is a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor; an advanced Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®) facilitator; an instructor in trauma-informed criminal justice responses; a certified court manager; a consultant for the SAMHSA SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery Technical Assistance Center; and a consultant for the SAMHSA GAINS Center. Schwartz is also actively involved in her community and serves on a variety of professional organizations, boards and committees.

Eric Smith

Eric Smith is a nationally recognized mental health advocate, consultant and public speaker. He is also a graduate of assisted outpatient treatment.

Smith has appeared on various major media platforms, such as National Public Radio, the Dr. Drew podcast and livestream, the New York Daily News and Yahoo News. Smith has been a speaker at conferences around the United States and was the keynote speaker at a Laura’s Law/AOT judicial training event in California.

At the invitation of lawmakers and other stakeholders, Smith has provided testimony in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Smith presented twice for Stanford University Law School students at the request of Stanford professors. He is written about in Bedlam, authored by Peabody Award winner Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, M.D. Part of Smith’s journey is contained in You Are Not Alone, a new book written by NAMI Chief Medical Officer Ken Duckworth, M.D.

Carol Stanchfield

Carol Stanchfield, LMFT, is director of assertive community treatment and assisted outpatient treatment for Turning Point Community Programs (TPCP) in Northern California. A licensed marriage and family therapist, Stanchfield provides oversight, training, mentoring and assistance to programs offering treatment through these recovery-oriented models of evidence-based practice.

As director of AOT and assertive community treatment in Nevada County, Stanchfield helped establish the first AOT program in California. The program emphasizes fidelity, collaboration and advocacy to promote improved health and quality of life for people the program has been privileged to serve since 2008.

Joining TPCP in 1999, Stanchfield provided intensive community-based treatment on behalf of children and families in Sacramento County until transitioning to adult treatment in 2007. Stanchfield earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Portland and a bachelor’s degree in human studies from Marylhurst University.

Brian Stettin

Brian Stettin serves as the senior advisor for severe mental illness to New York City Mayor Eric Adams. Prior to his current position, Brian was the policy director for the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC). While with TAC, he worked with state legislators and policymakers across the US to improve mental health commitment laws and establish AOT programs.

In 1999, as an Assistant New York State Attorney General, Brian was instrumental in conceiving and drafting “Kendra’s Law,” landmark legislation establishing Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) in New York. After leaving the Attorney General’s Office in 2007, Brian served as special counsel to the New York State Commissioner of Criminal Justice Services and counsel to the Health Committee of the New York Assembly.

Brian is a 1991 graduate of the City College of New York and a 1995 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law.

Elinore Stormer

Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer graduated from Davidson College’s Honors College and the University of Akron School of Law. Stormer was in private law practice in Ohio until 1989, when she became general counsel to the Summit County Executive. In 1991, Stormer became judge of Akron Municipal Court, and in November 2004, judge in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.

As a judge, Stormer has been a leader in specialized treatment courts for offenders. She began the first mental health court in Ohio, as well as the first municipal drug court. At the felony level, she began a reentry court to help offenders returning from prison.

Since 2012, Stormer has served in probate court. Since taking office, she has started a mediation program and a free help desk. Consistent with other probate courts, she began senior visitor and volunteer guardian programs. In 2016, she began the New Day Court to help those with mental illness transition successfully from the hospital to recovery.

Stormer serves as a board member of Treatment Advocacy Center. In the past, she served on the Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on the Mentally Ill in the Courts and within numerous other community organizations.

Bradley Tarr

Bradley Tarr is 29 years old and lives in Lexington, Ohio. He graduated from Clear Fork High School in 2012. Tarr studied for a time at Kentucky Christian University and Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts but, for medical reasons, did not finish his degree. The areas he studied were mission work, philosophy and humanities.

Tarr’s three great passions are theology, philosophy and history, and how they interact with one another. He is the volunteer parish librarian at his local church. He also served as the custodian and rectory housekeeper. Tarr has served as a trainer at several crisis intervention team trainings in his community. He enjoys watching movies and studying cinematic history. His only regret is that his bedroom is not big enough for more bookshelves.

Depree Taylor

Depree Taylor is a case manager for Catalyst Life Services and serves as an assisted outpatient treatment monitor for the Richland County (Ohio) AOT program. Taylor also serves as the state hospital liaison between Richland County and Heartland Behavioral Hospital. During his seven years with Catalyst, Taylor has worked with both children and adults. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The Ohio State University. Taylor has three adult children. To relax, he enjoys fishing and going on long walks.

Robert Wonnell

Judge Robert J. Wonnell currently serves as a district court judge for the State of Kansas in the 10th Judicial District in Johnson County. In his eight years on the bench, he has presided over family and civil dockets, and he currently handles the care and treatment docket and the assisted outpatient treatment docket. He chaired the planning committee for the 2022 Kansas Mental Health Summit and chairs the newly created statewide Multi-branch Community of Practice group aimed at increasing communication between local judicial jurisdictions and state-level policymakers. He is currently working with his judicial district to expand its AOT model to other dockets where behavioral health intersects with the justice system.