Meridian to Host Community Workshop on Mental Health Challenges


Meridian to Host Community Workshop on Mental Health Challenges


By Caitlyn Finnegan

In the wake of recent national tragedies, mental health is a critical topic many employers must consider addressing with employees. To help open the discussion about mental health in the workplace, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare and Trinity United Methodist Church will host a free workshop open to the public on February 28 from 8am to 10am at Trinity.

“Recent events, culminating in Newtown, have shaken our nation to the core,” said Maggie Labarta, Ph.D., Meridian’s President and CEO. “Let’s not wait for another tragedy. Our community must step up and look at prevention. All the components are here, the tools, Mental Health First Aid training and treatment infrastructure, a caring and concerned community, and an obvious need.”

Community leaders will meet with community members to focus on solutions for those facing mental illnesses, addictions and related social challenges. Participants will include representatives from Alachua County Public Schools, area law enforcement, the City of Gainesville, the University of Florida, Shands Vista, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Gainesville.

Participants will discuss how mental illnesses affect their organizations and help answer questions from attendees concerning health and safety needs in the community.

“This issue affects all of us,” said Dr. Dan Johnson, Trinity United Methodist’s Senior Mister. “We’re honored to sponsor this event and support Meridian’s goal to improve the health and safety of our community.”

Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 4000 NW 53rd Ave., Gainesville, Fla. For more information, visit


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