bringing the community together
for better mental health

Our mission is to create and sustain a mental health-friendly community by facilitating resources for mental health services, teaching. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village of various medical and healing modalities to effectively address the Mental Health challenges that affect our communities.

The collective mission of our coalition is to support our local communities in effectively addressing mental health challenges, through advocacy, outreach, education,and support services.

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is an inclusive coalition of community members: providers, advocates, citizens, family members, community leaders, law enforcement and the business community with a focused interest in and commitment to improving the community’s mental health.

Our Executive Board


— Dr. K. A. Shakoor, D.A.O.M.

Dr. K. A. Shakoor, D.A.O.M. has 50 years experience in the fields of energetic and mind/body disciplines and more than 30 as an instructor. He has taught classes and given demonstrations at educational institutions, mental health facilities, and hospitals to government and law enforcement agencies, private groups, clubs, and sports teams. He has designed, planned and promoted health fairs training workshops and health seminars in various communities in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida. He is the author of Ghetto Sutras, 2016, and Maahaah Yoga, 2007, both published by Jannah Press.


— Laurie Reisman, LCSW

Laurie Reisman, LCSW (pronouns She, Her) is the Whole Health Program Manager for the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System. She completed her Master’s in Social Work from Florida State University in 2005. Ms. Reisman wholeheartedly believes in the science and healing capabilities of Integrative Medicine. She is a certified Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Meditation instructor, a Therapist, and a Spiritual Life Coach. Ms. Reisman has been practicing, studying and/or receiving Asian Energetic forms of healing for 20+ years and knows firsthand the healing affects that these modalities have on trauma and various physical, spiritual, and emotional ailments. She enjoys playing with dogs, horses, crystal bowls & Frame drumming. She deeply enjoys connecting with nature and engaging with people while learning what matters most to them.


— J. Carlo Diaz, PE

Professional Engineer with 22 years of experience in roadway design, construction and maintenance engineering management. Service oriented with proven contract negotiation, portfolio management and conflict resolution. Values integrity and understands what is required to provide customer satisfaction. Analytical administrator providing leadership of business processes.


— Sean Murphy

  • Bio to come

Our general Board members

Past President

— Dorene Webster

Dorene is an entrepreneurial spirited professional with over 25 years of diversified experience in the healthcare industry and sales. A long career in pharmaceutical sales, understanding marketing clinical trials pertaining to mental health, and a successful three years in real estate has given her the opportunity to work with many different types of people. Her experience as the Director of PR and Outreach at Sarkis Family Psychiatry and Clinical Trials led to her involvement in the Mental Health Coalition of North Central Florida since its inception. She has served on both the executive board and regular board for the past 5 years. She loves the power of philanthropy and how we can all make a difference in other’s lives.

UF Health Psychiatric Hospital, Past President

— Dr. Joe Munson, Ph.D., LMHC, NCC

Dr. Munson is currently the Director of Clinical Services at UF Health’s Psychiatric Hospital (Shands Vista).  He oversees the services provided by case management, counseling, occupational therapy, recreational therapy, and serves as a member of the Leadership Team. He has over 20 years specializing in Crisis Intervention, Suicide Prevention, Diagnosis and Assessment of Mental Health disorders, in-patient treatment of mental illness, addiction treatment, and Non-Profit Management.  He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Supervisor in the state of Florida and a Nationally Certified Counselor.  He has been a certified trainer in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Youth MHFA since 2012.  He has also been an instructor at the University of Florida and Argosy University teaching classes in their Mental Health Counseling programs and is currently an Adjunct Professor with Saint Leo University in their Human Services Department.

Meridian Behavioral Health Care

— Denise Thomas

Denise Doose Thomas is the Director of Community Engagement at Meridian Behavioral Health Care, Inc. Denise received her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and a minor in Communication Studies from Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota in 2005. She lived in Iwate prefecture in Northern Japan from 2005-2008 as an English teacher participating on the JET Programme.

Our Partners

We are proud to work with organizations in the mental health community in North Central Florida and across our region. Current and former community partners include:

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • Meridian Behavioral Health Care
  • UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital and the Florida Recovery Center
  • UF Department of Psychiatry
  • Veterans Administration Hospital
  • Gainesville Opportunity Center
  • Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (Trauma Intervention and Special Services) and Gainesville Police Department
  • Alachua County School System and Guidance Counselors
  • McKnight Brain Institute
  • American Universal Medicine and Compassionate Health Care