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Response to the death by suicide of Sonny Rugani in the Broward County Jail on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019

To: Sun Sentinel
From: NAMI Broward County
In response to the death by suicide of Sonny Rugani in the Broward County Jail on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, NAMI Broward would like to issue this statement: 
 
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Broward County, is shocked and deeply saddened to learn that a young inmate with mental illness has committed suicide. This news is unbearable knowing that the tragedy could have been prevented if an effective mental health system were in place. NAMI believes that communities should create options to divert people with mental illness into treatment and services–before arrest, after arrest, and at all points in the justice system. 
 
In an effort to prevent suicides and abuse of people with mental illness in our jails, and to ensure they receive quality mental health treatment, NAMI Broward has entered into discussions with the Broward Sheriff’s Office and is encouraged by their installation of a phone line for family members to relay vital information, such as the inmate’s medications: Mental Health Call Line – 954-831-5428.

Jailing people with mental illness creates huge burdens on law enforcement, corrections, and state and local budgets. NAMI urges local and state policymakers to ensure communities offer a full array of mental health services, including supportive housing, for which there is a dire need in Broward County. Jail is not an environment that supports recovery.

NAMI Broward offers free support, education, and advocacy for people with mental illness and their families. www.namibroward.org  NAMI Broward Helpline: 954-316-9907.

, NAMI Broward would like to issue this statement: 

 
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Broward County, is shocked and deeply saddened to learn that a young inmate with mental illness has committed suicide. This news is unbearable knowing that the tragedy could have been prevented if an effective mental health system were in place. NAMI believes that communities should create options to divert people with mental illness into treatment and services–before arrest, after arrest, and at all points in the justice system. 
 
In an effort to prevent suicides and abuse of people with mental illness in our jails, and to ensure they receive quality mental health treatment, NAMI Broward has entered into discussions with the Broward Sheriff’s Office and is encouraged by their installation of a phone line for family members to relay vital information, such as the inmate’s medications: Mental Health Call Line – 954-831-5428.

Jailing people with mental illness creates huge burdens on law enforcement, corrections, and state and local budgets. NAMI urges local and state policymakers to ensure communities offer a full array of mental health services, including supportive housing, for which there is a dire need in Broward County. Jail is not an environment that supports recovery.

NAMI Broward offers free support, education, and advocacy for people with mental illness and their families. www.namibroward.org  NAMI Broward Helpline: 954-316-9907.

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