The Bridge Forum Brings Back ‘Mental Health’ Event to go Beyond the Stigma in Arizona
Community Leaders in Government and Healthcare Join Forces for National Suicide Prevention Month

PHOENIX –The HeroZona Foundation is excited to announce the return of a special segment of the Bridge Forum, “Mental Health”, featuring two nationally recognized key note speakers and a panel of Arizona leaders in government and healthcare. The focus will be on mental health issues plaguing the nation and Arizona and what actions can be taken to help community members struggling to access the resources they need.

In partnership with Suns Legacy Partners which manages the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Footprint Center the forum will be livestreamed to the public at Facebook.com/Suns on Tuesday, May 3, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. PT.

The presentation will be hosted at Footprint Center in front of an invitation-only audience as guests of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, Equality Health Foundation and Suns Legacy Partners.

“There are many stereotypes that surround mental health which perpetuate harm to Arizonans struggling with certain diagnoses,” said Alan “AP” Powell, chairman of AP & Associates - Strategic Alliances, U.S. Army Desert-Storm veteran and HeroZona cofounder. “Forums like this one are important in breaking those stigmas and helping the community better understand how to support those affected by mental health issues.”

Event panelists include COPA Health CEO Shar Najafri-Piper, PhD, Arizona Coalition for Military Families Director Thomas Winkel, Mercy Care Deputy CEO Tad Gary, Solari Crisis & Human Services President and CEO Justin Chase and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Chief Medical Officer Cara Christ, MD, MS. The event will be moderated by Equality Health Foundation President Tomas Leon.

The event keynote will be given by the National Basketball Players Association Director of Mental Health and Wellness William D. Parham, PhD, with special remarks by President & CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, National Director of the Million Man March, and Assistant to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. Dr. Chavis first received international recognition in 1971 as the leader of the Wilmington Ten, when he was wrongfully convicted of committing arson and received the longest sentence before winning his appeal in 1980.

Also in attendance will be Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, Tempe Police Department Chief of Police Jeffrey Glover and Mesa Fire Department Fire Chief Mary Cameli.

“The events of the past two years have no doubt impacted the mental health of our community,” Suns Legacy Partners President & CEO Jason Rowley said. “Our organization is honored to provide an environment that will advance the discourse on the importance of mental health with such an esteemed panel to assist our friends, family and others with the education and resources they need.”

The foundation has launched a variety of community programs including The Bridge Forum ‘Time for Change’ Summits, which bring leaders from across the country together to discuss racial inequality, police relations, veterans’ issue, mental health and more. Other initiatives include Phoenix Tools 4 School, Holiday Bike Giveaways, MLK Celebrating the Dream, Veterans Reach to Teach and the HeroZona Forgotten Heroes Breakfast.

In January 2018, the Scottsdale Police Department implemented 29 new initiatives from the Scottsdale Bridge Forum 2017, which included establishing sufficient resources for police personnel dealing with trauma, establishing dialogue opportunities with under-served communities, enhancing engagement with the community’s youth and identifying ways to address the needs of the community related to behavioral health.

For more information about the Bridge Forum and to stream its upcoming event on Tuesday, May 3, visit Facebook.com/HeroZonaOrg.

About the HeroZona Foundation

The HeroZona Foundation is a non-profit organization that empowers Heroes in the community through entrepreneurship, employment, and education. The group works with veterans, first responders and those that bring social good to future generations and under-served communities. The foundation’s mission is to create opportunities for the brave men and women who serve their country, and community, every day. For more information, please visit HeroZona.org



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