Track 3 - Behavioral Health (Substance Abuse

Mental Health

Violence Prevention)

Sharing Session - 90 Minutes

F4 - A Systems Approach to Public Behavioral Health in Nashville

Wednesday, July 11
2:15 PM - 3:45 PM
Location: Regent

The session will include a presentation followed by panel discussion and audience engagement. Highlights include how local health departments (LHDs) can transform an under-resourced and fragmented local behavioral health system through innovative, consensus-driven, replicable public-private partnerships; how LHDs can mobilize the community to strategically respond to the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) as a foundational document, demonstrating the intersection of overall health with behavioral health issues; and how LHDs can effectively utilize their status as neutral conveners and behavioral health strategists to frame community response to behavioral health issues using a public health lens.


Mental Health, Partnerships & Collaborations, Social Determinants of Health

Angie Thompson

Director Division of Behavioral Health and Wellness
Metro Public Health Department

Angie Thompson, MSP, is the Director of Behavioral Health and Wellness Division of the Metro Public Health Department of Nashville/Davidson County where she leads efforts of the Metro Public Health Department to define and fulfill its role in promoting systems change to support emotional wellbeing through a public health/population health approach. She is a founding member of All Children Excel (ACE) Nashville, the Suicide Prevention and African American Faith Communities Coalition, and served as the founding Chair of the Davidson County Suicide Prevention Task Force. She has led the work of the Metro Public Health Department in the decriminalization of mental illness and the Community Mental Health Systems Improvement Initiative. She is trained in evidence based facilitation methods which allow groups to be more responsive to change and more creative in implementation.She served on numerous Boards and Committees focused on improving the health and wellbeing of those living with mental illness and their families including the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, Chair of the Safety Net Consortium of Middle Tennessee, Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee President's Council, the Alignment Nashville Behavioral Health Committee, the Healthy Nashville Summit planning committees focused on awareness of adverse childhood experiences and community response, and Nashville's Social and Emotional Learning Conference planning committee.

Prior to joining the Metro Public Health Department, Ms. Thompson served as the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee and the Assistant Director of the Division of Child Development in the Department of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt Medical Center. She was instrumental in developing the national award winning I.C. HOPE® Don’t Duck Mental Health® Public Awareness and Education Campaign, which was recognized as the winner of the 2005 Innovation in Programming Award from the National Mental Health Association and a finalist for the 2004 Innovation in Non-Profit Management Award from the Peter F. Drucker Foundation.

Ms. Thompson holds a BA from the University of Kentucky, MS from Vanderbilt University and Masters in Public Service Management from Cumberland University.


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Jennifer Trail, LMSW

ACEs Prevention Coordinator
Metro Public Health Department

Jennifer Trail is a Licensed Masters Social Worker with an MSW from the University of Tennessee. Prior to receiving her degree, she spent 5 years in leadership at a small non-profit focused on neighborhood empowerment and community organizing. Afterwards, she went on to direct the parent education programs at an agency specifically focused on populations who had experienced early childhood trauma. She has been at MPHD since 2017, where she helps to coordinate the efforts of the collective impact ACE Nashville and works to promote a trauma and resiliency-informed approach to public health.


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Simone Sibley

Behavioral Health Program Specialist
Metro Public Health Department

Simone Sibley is a Behavioral Health Program Specialist with the Metro Public Health Department. She empowers vulnerable, faith and African American communities around suicide prevention, mental health, local resources and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). A mental health community organizer turned public mental health advocate, Simone innovatively encourages individuals through community presentations, collaborations, practical toolkits, and by developing structure for community groups. Simone has organized everyday community members into leaders around mental health advocacy at the legislative level, while cultivating supportive relationships and resources from national and local mental health organizations. Simone co-chairs the Suicide Prevention and the African American Faith Community Coalition (SPAAFCC), and educates Nashville residents through community presentations around Building Strong Brains (ACEs) and Suicide Prevention (QPR). Simone holds a BA in Psychology from Spelman College.


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Julie Thacker, M.Ed

Community Mental Health Systems Improvement Coordinator
Metro Public Health Department

Julie Fitzgerald Thacker, M.Ed., facilitates and mobilizes consensus-based systems change as the Community Mental Health Systems Improvement Coordinator in the Division of Behavioral Health and Wellness at Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) in Nashville. Formerly at MPHD, Ms. Thacker served as the Coordinator of Community Health Improvement Planning in the Division of Prevention and Wellness and as the Schools Liaison for the Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative. Ms. Thacker has experience working in evaluation, consulting and as a teacher with Memphis City Schools. Ms. Thacker received her M.Ed. in Community Development and Action from Vanderbilt University and her BA in English Literature from the University of Sussex.


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F4 - A Systems Approach to Public Behavioral Health in Nashville


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