We all have different images in our mind when we hear the word graduation. I remember my high school graduation, with a sea of white and blue caps and gowns. I remember my college and law school graduations where everyone wore somber black robes, but glowed with excitement for the future. I remember my kids’ preschool graduations,where we tried desperately, and unsuccessfully, to keep those little mortarboard caps on their heads as they sang their end of the year songs. Graduation is a time to reflect on the journey that is ending, as well as a time to look forward to new opportunities.
Last Thursday, we had the privilege of celebrating the 36th Mental Health Court graduation. Although it was sad for us to say farewell to the three graduating clients, we are all very proud of their successful completion of the program. Each of the three graduates were tremendously talented individuals. One of our graduates, with a sharp and witty sense of humor, owns his own successful small business. Another graduate reunited with his family, has stable housing and now plans to look for stable employment. And, the third graduate, who spoke at the graduation, is currently in college, studying computer science, with A’s in every single class.
Additionally, a prior graduate came to the graduation and spoke to everyone in the courtroom in person, as well as those who joined us on zoom.She told us about her experience throughout the program and after her graduation. Her story, like all of our graduates’ stories, was inspiring.
As our clients progress through this program, I have the honor and privilege of watching their transformation. And, I have the pleasure of getting to know each of them. They teach me perspective,gratitude, tenacity and perseverance. Furthermore,I am constantly awestruck with the talents of the clients in Mental Health Court. We currently have educators, medical professionals, veterans, artists,and musicians in our program.
Right now, we have a client who is a gifted self-taught mechanic, who,it seems can fix almost anything. We also have a client, who is both a musician and poet, about to be featured in a TC Palm Article.
Our clients succeed in this program because of their hard work, and the team’s dedication to their success. However, this program wouldn’t exist without the support of the community. I am grateful to the members of the community who support the program and I would like to thank each community member who joined us in the courtroom or by zoom to celebrate our graduates. I would also like to especially thank Deepak Sharma of Healthcite Pharmacy, who provided cupcakes to celebrate each of the graduates and the clients. It truly was a day to celebrate!
Currently, Martin County Mental Health Court has 76 clients with 86 cases.
39 clients with misdemeanor offenses.
37 clients with felony offenses.
There are 60 males and 16 females.
A total of 3 clients have graduated the program so far in 2021.
Since 2007, 149 clients have graduated our program.
The recidivism rate for our graduates is currently 8.5%; in comparison, FL inmate recidivism is 62.7% & probation 64.7%*.
Currently, 39 of the clients in the program are diversion cases.
18 clients are on Conditional Releases.
13 are on probation.
32 of the currently enrolled clients are employed.
65 of the current clients have been approved for or receive some type of financial benefit
Martin County was featured on the Stepping Up Initiative Webinar as ‘Innovator Counties’ panelists among Alachua County and Broward County.
Martin County will be presenting at the 2021Behavioral Health Conference in Orlando as a panelist for the Stepping Up Initiative.
One of our clients is being featured on a TCPalm news article that will be published online on 4/1 along with our Martin County Mental Health Court team and our successes
The MC Police Athletic League began an Adult Boxing program that our clients LOVE!
We graduated 3 of our clients during our quarterly graduation on 3/25 with many key stakeholders in attendance, such as:
- Commissioner Ed Ciampi,
- County Administrator, Taryn Kryzda
- Carolyn Timmann, Clerk of Court
- Captain Bill Dowdy, MCSO
- Michelle Miller, MC Human Services
- Joseph Cracchiola, MC Probation
- Lisa Nebbeling, MC Probation
- Stephen Quintyne, Coral Shores
- Joanna Greene, MC Human Services
- Trina Poppa, Luminescence Counseling
- Deepak Sharma, Healthcite Pharmacy
- Tony Jannu, Healthcite Pharmacy
A previous client came back to Mental Health Court for graduation to speak about how great she has been doing since completing the program and to encourage the other participants to follow the program and the rules if they want to succeed in both MHC and life. She has now been employed for over a year (full-time), regained 50/50 custody of her daughter, has not received new charges,and has maintained stability.
MC Human Services held a follow-up Sequential Intercept Mapping meeting with key stakeholders within the County & subgroups are being created to address the County’s mental health needs & gaps.
LifeBuilders of the Treasure Coast is a non-profit agency dedicated to helping people who have been touched by the criminal justice or dependency court systems in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties overcome small financial hurdles.We have been changing lives and building strong communities since 2009!
LifeBuilders is thrilled to work closely with Martin County Mental Health Court and provide assistance to clients that the grant can’t provide. We can provide rent, utilities, educational assistance, and basic household items to not just Martin County Mental Health Court clients, but also to all the residents of Martin County! We owe a debt of gratitude to all our Martin County funders: Martin County Board of County Commissioners, United Way of Martin County, Roy A. Hunt Foundation, Andrew and Robin Hunt Philanthropic Fund, and William and Helen Thomas Charitable Trust! Thank you for helping us help others! To learn more, please visit our website at: www.LifeBuildersTC.com, and find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LifeBuildersoftheTreasureCoast
May is Mental Health Awareness month!
Look out for TCPalm on 4/1 and news papers in the Treasure Coast on 4/4 for a feature on one of our clients and our Mental Health Court!
The Behavioral Health Collaborative Martin County meeting will be held on 4/7.
Some of the Martin County Mental Health Court staff will be speaking at the CIT training on 5/4.
LifeBuilders of the Treasure Coast will hold their annual Par-Tee on 10/1 and Golf Tournament on 10/3! Visit their website for additional information.