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Virtual Sessions & Speakers

COVID19 - Public Health Perspective

Over the past several years the impact of the opioid epidemic has been felt in every community across Florida. In addition, a marked rise in mental health challenges and an increase in suicides created a growing concern on how to keep our citizens and communities healthy. These issues have been further complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic which is changing the landscape of healthcare and behavioral health in America. This session will discuss these challenges from a public health perspective and will offer insight into how mental health and substance use disorder services will be provided in the future.









Captain Michael King, PhD, MSW is a social worker and epidemiologist who has served at the intersection of behavioral and public health for over 15 years. Prior to joining SAMHSA in 2019, he supported State and Federal public health capacity at the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an instructor and Field Supervisor for post-doctoral fellows enrolled in the Epidemic Intelligence Service. CAPT King previously served for over 10 years on the National Asthma Surveillance Team in the National Center for Environmental Health where his interests focused on chronic disease surveillance, environmental exposure and hazard assessment, and disaster mental health. As a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, CAPT King deploys routinely following disasters and has had the privilege to lead one of five national Mental Health Response teams (Team 5) that provide crisis counseling and technical assistance to medically-underserved populations, with a focus on emergency public health response.



The Complex Trauma of Current Events

Sponsored by qualifacts

As we continue to grapple with the overwhelming aspects of an international pandemic, people across our Nation have taken to the streets and boardrooms to demand change around systemic racism and its devastating effects. In addition, the media is saturated with stories about racism, however for African Americans and other people of color, these stories, in the form of news or social media posts are more than just stories--they are examples of their lived experiences enduring trauma, racism and oppression. These historical and ongoing traumas have led and continue to lead to physical and behavioral health disparities.

This session will explore the historical and contemporary racial inequities faced by African Americans and other people of color, the impacts these inequities have on individuals we serve, the impact on staff, and the trauma-informed, resilience-oriented strategies for how to address these impacts at the individual, organizational and community level to build a just future that promotes healing and resilience in your practice, providers and patients.









Linda Henderson-Smith, PhD, LPC, CPCS, CCMP, Director of Children and Trauma Informed Services at the National Council for Behavioral Health, is a licensed professional counselor, certified professional counselor supervisor, Six Sigma Black Belt and Certified Change Management Practitioner. She has almost 20 years of clinical and administrative experience in community-based mental health. She joined the National Council in May 2016 after working at the Georgetown University National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health as the Director of Mental Health Planning and Policy. While at Georgetown she helped develop training regarding Trauma-Informed Systems, especially for people with co-occurring developmental and behavioral health disorders. Prior to working at Georgetown, Linda worked at the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities in numerous roles, the most recent being the Director of the Office of Children, Young Adults and Families, where she spearheaded the implementation of high fidelity wraparound, care management services, and mobile crisis services throughout the state, and worked with other state agencies to strengthen the service systems for vulnerable populations. As a trauma-survivor herself, Linda brings a distinct perspective and knowledge base to mental health and addiction disorders services and is passionate about helping organizations and systems move towards becoming trauma-informed.



Opioid Epidemic - A Historical & Community Perspective

This presentation will provide an in-depth historical perspective on the roots of this epidemic and an insider’s view of how this evolved, as well as innovative solutions to address it within our communities.

The 1970s and 1980s era: From the “war on drugs” era of marijuana and heroin to the evolution of base or “crack” cocaine. The 2000s eruption of prescription drugs, pill mills, pain clinics, drug enforcement strike forces, trends and conditions, and the Florida “Opioid Express” onto 2010 to present - the aftermath of pills mills, the uprising of heroin and fentanyl. Florida overdose and overdose death overview, including mortality rates and trends. Sheriff Lemma will provide information on collaborative and holistic strategies based on a multi-prong approach: Prevention, Education, Enforcement, Treatment, and Recovery.








Sheriff Lemma began his career with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in 1992 as a Correctional Officer. He took office on January 3, 2017, as the 10th Sheriff in the county's history.


In January 2019, Attorney General Ashley Moody named Sheriff Dennis Lemma chair of her Transition Advisory Committee Working Group on Opioid Abuse. In July 2019, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the formation of a drug abuse prevention panel with Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma to serve as chair.


Sheriff Lemma received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia College, a Master’s Degree in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma, and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He also attended the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Chief Executive Institute in Tallahassee, Florida.



How Happy Are You?

Using Science to Create Ultimate Joy in Your Life

How happy are you? What if you had seven days to live, would you be happy with the life you led? Did you accomplish what you wanted in life? This inspiring story captures the true meaning of happiness and challenges the chaos in today’s world leaving you to question your past actions, yet changing them for the future. This session will inspire all to live life on a different level, rooted in positivity and happiness.








“A breath of fresh air, Amy inspires others through her positive outlook on life!”

Amy Dix, an International Speaker, two-time No. 1 International Best-Selling Author, and Positive Psychology Practitioner, inspires others to live life on a different level, rooted in positivity and pure happiness. After her mother was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, what transpired next left others in awe, moved, and in search of how they too can live a life of positivity. This single journey led Amy to study positivity and the impact it has on your life. Her latest book, “SEVEN MORE DAYS: Live a Life That’s Bursting with Positivity and Happiness … Before It’s Too Late” became a bestseller in eight countries and eight categories. She now brings this message to the stage, creating a gripping experience of emotion, catapulting happiness, and challenging the chaos in today’s world.