SMA Healthcare Foundation to host Mental Health Symposium


The SMA Healthcare Foundation announces its fourth annual Who is Jay? Mental Health Symposium to be held at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach on May 9 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The symposium, titled Transforming Lives Through Hope & Healing, is open to the community.  Held in May as part of National Mental Health Month activities, the symposium is designed to bring awareness, education, and inspiration.  

The opening keynote speaker is Dr. Sam Tsemberis. He is presenting “Transforming Systems and Changing Lives,’’ explaining how a person-centered approach to engagement, treatment and housing has proven effective in turning treatment failures into a success.  

The keynote speaker over lunch is Joshua Rivedal, actor and author.  He will present “Navigating Out of the Ocean of Why – Making Meaning After a Suicide Loss,’’ a combination of his one-man Broadway style play and a keynote that provides the powerful message that suicide is preventable when we speak out, and the journey or process that helps make meaning after a suicide loss.  

Presentations throughout the day will include the following:

  • Ending the Criminalization of Mental Illness, presented by Judge Steven Leifman, Administrative Judge for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, overseeing the Miami-Dade Mental Health Court
  • Introduction to Mental Health First Aid, presented by SMA’s Salvatore Gintoli and Shawn Proctor
  • Research Updates in Behavioral Health, presented by Sara Jo Nixon, Ph.D., University of Florida’s Department of Psychiatry, McKnight Brain Institute
  • The Great Divorce: Faith and Mental Health by Dean Kate Moorehead, St. John’s Cathedral Episcopal Diocese of Florida in Jacksonville.

“We are excited to bring such high caliber speakers from around the US and the State of Florida to our community” said Jennifer Secor, Executive Director of the Foundation. “The symposium was designed to bring mental health awareness and education to our community, and to touch on current and relevant topics.”  

The cost to attend is $45 if registered and paid on or before April 12 ($55 after). Students are $25, and NAMI members can attend for free.  

The registration fee includes the full day of speakers and presentations, parking at the Ocean Center, lunch and refreshments.  

To register, visit and click on the registration link.



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