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OCTOBER | Print |

THE END OF OCTOBER BRINGS HALLOWEEN FUN FOR INDIVIDUALS AT THE TRAINING CENTERS

Halloween Costumes

 ABOVE: Abiyd Coleman, Jamila Stewart & Latisha Mason at North Training Center

All three Training Centers hosted a Halloween Party for individuals at their facility.   The North Training Center also partnered with North Springs High School, which sent students who volunteered to entertain adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who receive services at the center.

High School Students    

ABOVE: North Springs High School students & their teacher at the North Training Center

Halloween Costumes  

 ABOVE L - R: Sumaiya Islam & Heather Shew at Central Training Center

Halloween Costumes

ABOVE L - R: Dr. Raquel Watson, Stepheney Barnswell & Angala Simmons at the South Training Center

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FULTON MAGISTRATE COURT & STATE COURT CELEBRATE FIRST MENTAL HEALTH COURT GRADUATION

 Mental Health Court Graduation

ABOVE: Charles Releford & LaTrina R. Foster at the first graduation ceremony for Mental Health Court  

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Fulton County Chief Magistrate Judge and Magistrate Court Administrator Cassandra Kirk hosted the graduation of the Court’s first cohort to complete the Misdemeanor Mental Health Court program.   The ceremony was held on Friday, October 19th in the Fulton County Justice Tower.

Undertaken with justice system stakeholders to provide better outcomes, this innovative evidence-based pilot program ultimately serves to reduce recidivism by promoting safe communities and fair outcomes for misdemeanor defendants struggling with mental health concerns.   The program consists of a collaborative effort among State Court, Magistrate Court and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk

(ABOVE: Fulton County Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk)

“Criminal justice touches all people,” said Chief Magistrate Judge Kirk. “Ensuring fair and appropriate outcomes for all citizens, including those struggling with mental health, means that our residents can feel assured they will receive justice whether they are a victim of a crime or have been accused of committing one.”

LaTrina Foster, Director of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Judge Kirk, and State Court Judge Patsy Porter expressed their gratitude for the support of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners for their funding of a solutions based program that can mean potentially life changing moves toward emotional well-being for defendants while also reducing the numbers of those jailed for misdemeanor crimes.

The Misdemeanor Mental Health Court (MMC) program was first launched by the Magistrate Court of Fulton County in July 2018 with the goal of protecting public safety, providing a healthier and more sustainable release for detained misdemeanor defendants with mental health needs and supporting those released and diverted through State Court. Adopting a collaborative approach, the MMC brings together the Magistrate and State Courts, Fulton County Behavioral Health, local mental health providers, and various community service providers to leverage resources and generate positive long-term outcomes for defendants.

The upcoming Misdemeanor Mental Health Court graduation is part of a wider initiative to improve mental health outcomes for all citizens. Many jurisdictions, Fulton County included, are working to address issues surrounding public trust and fairness in the court system for citizens with mental health issues.    Misdemeanor Mental Health Court works with defendants to meaningfully address the factors precipitating their involvement with the justice system. Equipping MMC participants with resources and guidance empowers them to transcend their current circumstances and begin healthy and crime-free lives. In the long-term, both individuals and communities are safer and stronger when defendants can break the cycle of court involvement.

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A GROUP OF RESIDENTS SPEND THE EVENING LEARNING ABOUT FULTON COUNTY HEALTH SERVICES  

Citizens University 2018

 (ABOVE: Angala Simmons, Social Services Program Manager)

On Thursday, October 18th, the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities (BHDD) and the Fulton County Board of Health hosted Citizens University at the Center for Health & Rehabilitation.

Citizens University s a year-long program where people register and attend monthly presentations by a different Fulton County department to learn about the operations of the County government.   LaTrina R. Foster (Director) gave an overview of BHDD's programs and services.   Angala Simmons (above), Social Services Program Manager at the South Training Center, discussed the Department's services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.   Citizens University is an annual event, and anyone can register online at www.fultoncountyga.gov  to participate in the program.

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BHDD PROVIDES BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES AT THE 2ND ANNUAL JOAN. P. GARNER WALK & HEALTH FAIR

Behavioral Health representative

 (ABOVE: Renee Lee - Ferguson educates public about Behavioral Health services)

The Fulton County Department of BHDD participated with the Fulton County Board of Health & Fulton County District 4 Commissioner Natalie Hall to celebrate the life and work of the late Commissioner Joan P. Garner by hosting the 2nd Annual Joan P. Garner Walk and Health Fair on Saturday, October 6th at Washington Park and the Atlanta Beltline Westside Trail.

The free community event featured a health fair with vendors, activities, and games for children, giveaways, fitness and healthy cooking demonstrations, health screenings, and other activities keeping with this year’s theme, “All People are Healthy”.    

Commissioner Natalie Hall

(ABOVE: Fulton County Commissioner Natalie Hall addresses the crowd)    

“I am elated to host this event in honor of my beloved Commissioner, Joan P. Garner, for whom I worked as Chief of Staff for six years before losing her to breast cancer. Together, we worked to ensure that everyone had better access to health care services and information about the public health resources available through Fulton County.” says Fulton County District 4 Commissioner Natalie Hall.   “Community health was something that my friend and mentor, Commissioner Garner, was passionate about, and I hope through this event, we can preserve that part of her legacy.”  

Joan P. Garner

(ABOVE: Former Fulton County Commissioner Joan P. Garner)

The late District 4 Commissioner Joan P. Garner spent decades advocating for civil and human rights and health issues. She was involved in various causes in the Historic Fourth Ward for more than two decades and served as the executive director of the Historic District Development Corp., the nonprofit founded by Coretta Scott King to oversee residential redevelopment. As commissioner, she worked tirelessly to fight against health inequity and became the Executive Sponsor of Fulton County Government’s “All People Are Healthy” vision.   Commissioner Garner lost her battle with breast cancer in 2017.

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 FOUR NEW EMPLOYEES JOIN THE FULTON COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH & DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

New Employees

The Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities proudly welcomes four new employees who started work in October.   From left to right are the following: Tangeniqua Hopkins, Garrick Miller, Marlena Strong, & Damali Johnson.    

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