Youngstown, OH – A Professional Development Symposium on Racial Justice, Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention will take place on February 4, 2022 at the Eastwood Event Center in Niles. The keynote speaker for this important event is Kevin Richardson. Richardson, at age 14, was wrongfully convicted and served seven years in prison for a brutal crime in New York’s Central Park. His story is told in the Netflix mini-series When They See Us. The symposium is a day-long event presented by Coleman Health Services in partnership with the Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board (TCMHRB).
The often “uncomfortable” topic is the idea of Katie Cretella who until recently worked as the Director of Access (crisis) at Coleman in Warren and is now working as Director of Clinical Services at the TCMHRB.
“The goal of this event is to educate the community, while raising awareness and bridging the gap between the medical, mental health and legal systems of care,” said Cretella. “We are excited to be able to provide this educational event for many different professional fields while also being proactive on these critical issues. We are all here to serve our communities and being able to come together for this all-day event will be impactful.”
The event will also feature Laurese Glover, who with the help of the Ohio Innocence Project, had his case overturned in 2016 after being charged with a 1995 murder in Cleveland. Other speakers include Judge Carla Baldwin of Youngstown Municipal Court, James DeLucia of the Mahoning County Juvenile Justice Center, State Representative Thomas West, Attorney Pierce Reed of the Ohio Innocence Project, Dr. Doug Smith of the Summit County ADM Board, and Carmella Hill, Clinical Director of Coleman Health Services Trumbull County. Malik Mostella, Community Liaison for the Youngstown Police Department, will serve as emcee and Carol Bennett, Assistant Provost of Diversity at YSU, will moderate the interviews and panel discussion.
“The past three years in this country, we have seen events take place that have caused society to look at itself in the mirror,” reflects Mostella. “It is good that we are able to sit down to discuss our differences, and ironically find out that we are not that different from each other.”
A limited number of free tickets will be available to first responders and college students. Continuing education credits will be available for counselors, social workers, attorneys, nurses, school counselors, and EMTs.
“The Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board wants to ensure health equity and cultural competence within all behavioral health programs in our community,” said April Caraway, Executive Director of the TCMHRB. “We want to make certain that services meet the needs of diverse populations. We see this conversation as the next step to achieving this goal.”
“When we first began talking about this event, there were sponsors who immediately stepped up,
recognizing the potential impact of this symposium,” added Stacia Erdos, Coleman Health Services’
Regional Development Director for the Mahoning Valley. “Because of their generosity, we are able
to bring Kevin Richardson to the area, and provide free tickets to more than 100 students and law
In addition to the TCMHRB, other sponsors include the Coleman Foundation; Cafaro Foundation;
Mercy Health Foundation and Mercy Health; Farmers Bank; the Warren Area Chamber of
Commerce Education, Civic and Cultural Foundation; Pegs Foundation, Platt Insurance; The Ross
Griffin Memorial Foundation; and Covelli Enterprises. A meet and greet will take place on the
evening of February 3rd at The Grand Resort.
Registration is now open, with tickets costing $100 which includes breakfast, lunch, and CEUs.
ABOUT COLEMAN HEALTH SERVICES
Coleman Health Services was founded in Kent, Ohio in 1978. It offers comprehensive behavioral health, residential, employment, and supportive services. Coleman serves clients in 22 counties across Ohio. Its footprint stretches from Steubenville and Youngstown in the Eastern part of the state to Lima and Wapakoneta in the western half of Ohio. It earned the 2021 Gold Seal of Transparency from Guidestar, the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit ColemanServices.org.