REAL NEWS: Mental Health America of Northeast Florida Honors Sheriff Shoar

(PRESS RELEASE) Last night, Sheriff David B. Shoar received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for furthering community mental health in Northeast Florida. The award, which is presented by Mental Health America of Northeast Florida, is awarded to a mental health professional, organizations or community leaders who provide exemplary service to those living with a mental illness, and is awarded annually at their “Ripple Effect” awards ceremony.

Sheriff Shoar was nominated due to his efforts in support of the Behavioral Health Consortium and his work to secure a local detox center and residential substance abuse program. He also implemented a substance abuse program within the jail to provide intervention and treatment prior to their reentry into the community. Additionally, he formed the local Crisis Intervention Team and continued the effort by seeking to have every Sheriff’s Office employee trained to assist those in crisis. Further, he worked with the Florida Sheriff’s

Association to obtain funding so that all Florida Sheriffs could acquire this same training, as well as, working with behavioral health groups to start a local “Drop-In Center”, where those who are suffering can participate in art therapy, gardening, nutrition education and peer support; along with many other efforts.

In the announcement letter from the CEO of Mental Health America of Northeast Florida, Denise Marzullo, commented to Sheriff Shoar, “This is a huge honor as we receive many qualified applicants, but at the end of the day-our committee recognized your hard work and the impact you have made to this community.”

Sheriff Shoar stated, “I am certain there are many that are far more deserving than I to receive this recognition, although I am deeply humbled to be the recipient of this honor!” He continued, “There are many others who have contributed greatly to assisting those in crisis, so I want to accept this award on behalf of our local law enforcement personnel who willingly respond and make a difference for these individuals every day”

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