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NAMI Hillsborough’s Presents Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office with the 2020 Community Partner Award

(L to R) HCSO BRU Homeless Initiative Team Lead Deputy S. Krager
Natasha A. Pierre, NAMI Hillsborough Executive Director
HCSO BRU Supervisor Sergeant Duane Benton

(L to R) HCSO Master Deputy Smith
Sammecia Bagley, Board Member
HCSO BRU Supervisor Sergeant Benton
Natasha A. Pierre, NAMI Hillsborough Executive Director
Charlotte Fernee Kelly, Board Member
HCSO BRU Homeless Initiative Team Lead Deputy S. Krager


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Information:

Karen McAllister
813-273-8104
KMcAllister@NAMIHillsborough.org

NAMI HILLSBOROUGH’S PRESENTS
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
WITH THE 2020 COMMUNITY PARTNER AWARD

TAMPA, FL., Dec. 28, 2020 NAMI Hillsborough, a nonprofit that serves individuals and families affected by mental illness presented the Sheriff Chad Chronister and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office with the 2020 Community Partner Award.

“Law enforcement and mental illness are often interconnected,” said NAMI Hillsborough Executive Director Natasha A. Pierre.  “We wanted to recognize the HCSO for implementing a Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) program for all employees, for the creation of the Behavioral Resource Unit (BRU) and for how they contribute to ending mental health stigma in the County.”

In addition to the award, NAMI Hillsborough will also donate a year’s worth of HART bus passes to the BRU.  Currently the BRU utilizes approximately 30 bus passes each month to support homeless residents needing transportation to appointments with doctors, the Department of Children and Families, the Social Security Administration and more.

“We work with individuals who have had repeat contact with law enforcement due to mental health and substance use issues,” said Deputy Stephanie Krager, Team Lead for the BRU’s Homeless Initiative. “Long-term recovery and stability are compromised when someone is unable to access much needed support services due to transportation.”

“Mental illness and law enforcement are unfortunately interconnected,” said Pierre.  “We are grateful to be included in the HCSO 40-hour CIT program, and we saw an opportunity to extend our reach into the County through the BRU.”

The BRU currently includes deputies, licensed mental health counselors and licensed clinical social workers.

“We are grateful to receive the NAMI Hillsborough 2020 Community Partner Award,” states Sheriff Chad Chronister. “These bus passes will enable us to help more people maintain the treatment necessary to build healthier, more stable lives.”

NAMI Hillsborough provides the mental health advocacy, education, support, and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives.

About NAMI Hillsborough:
NAMI Hillsborough envisions a County where all people affected by mental illness are leading healthy, fulfilling lives supported by a community that cares. 

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