Michele Saunders, LCSW 1st Vice President CIT International Board of Directors
Michele Saunders, LCSW, is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of CIT International and is contractually employed by CIT International as the Conference Coordinator.
Ms. Saunders is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 30 years of community mental health service and currently is a Social Worker at the Florida VA Medical Center, Orlando, Florida. She organized and implemented CIT in Orange County, FL in 2000 and organized the CIT State Coalition starting with 13 counties in 2004. The Florida CIT State Coalition currently has more than 40 counties with CIT Programs. She also teaches in the Orlando CIT officer training, and provides technical assistance around with state with the development and implementation of CIT. Since 2000, more than 10,000 officers that have been trained in Florida
In 2008, NAMI Florida voted, unanimously, to appoint Ms. Saunders to the NAMI Florida Board of Directors. At that time, Ms. Saunders was the Executive Director of Florida Partners in Crisis and well known in the mental health community for her commitment to the many Floridians who are affected by mental illness. Florida Partners in Crisis is a statewide non-profit advocacy organization, comprised of criminal justice, behavioral healthcare, and consumer advocate leaders. Through Florida Partners in Crisis, Ms. Saunders coordinated several advocacy activities statewide to educate Florida lawmakers about the need for adequate funding for the community mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment systems.
Among her many awards, Ms. Saunders was awarded NAMI Florida’s President’s award, and the Orange County Sheriff’s office – CIT Award.