Why are we doing this?

Association for the Chronically Mentally Ill (ACMI)  is a nonprofit organization was founded by a group of passionate parents whose adult children shared a similar experience with Arizona’s behavioral health system. You see, while our behavioral health system adequately serves tens of thousands of adults with a serious mental illness (SMI) every year, there is a percentage of our SMI population for whom our behavioral health system is seriously and materially inadequate.

The families of ACMI are working hard so that future families will not have to endure the multiple and unnecessary hospitalizations, incarcerations and homelessness that their sons and daughters have. Indeed, the purpose of ACMI is to not only shine a light on this reality, but to partner with our state’s leaders in health care, public safety and government to engineer practical solutions that are both compassionate and effective for our chronically and seriously mentally ill population.  ​

Our Mission

We work with stakeholders to improve care for persons suffering from chronic serious mental illness through cost-effective network enhancements:

  • (a) a person-centered culture (instead of program-centered),
  • (b) financial & other incentives, based on performance & outcomes, for providers to better-serve this population;
  • (c) more Lighthouse- like homes, i.e. community living properties with 24-hours per day and 7-days per week supportive staff inside these properties,
  • (d) humane, well-regulated facilities for contained treatment, either voluntary or involuntary as medically appropriate, for those who need more intensive care either temporarily or indefinitely; and,
  • (e) other possible solutions.

Our Vision

Improve the well-being of Chronic Seriously Mentally Ill population by providing more “Lighthouse-like community living” * and more Contained Treatment Facilities.  We will work with all persons and organizations who share our deep concern for the well-being of this population.
We define “persons suffering with Chronic Mental Illness” as those persons who:

  • ​(a) tend to be refractory (i.e. whose illness interferes with their acceptance of treatment),
  • (b) tend to suffer anosognosia (i.e. inability to comprehend their clinically evident mental illness),
  • (c) usually are ejected from existing care programs for exhibiting symptoms of their illness and
  • (d) tend to recycle through residential treatment programs, scattered-site apartments, the streets, jails, emergency rooms, hospitals, back to residential treatment programs, and so on and so forth, for years and even decades as their psychosis and often their substance abuse worsens, their physical well-being declines and their misery and that of their families intensifies.

* Lighthouse-like community living properties have 24-hours per day and 7-days per week supportive staff inside these properties, Person centered culture rather than Program centered culture.

Our Board

Joshua Mozell

A Super Lawyers Rising Stars honoree and a partner in the firm, Josh Mozell practices in the areas of estate planning, mental health law and elder law as well as contested probates, guardianships and conservatorships.​

In his estate planning and elder law practice, Josh assists clients with the drafting of wills, durable powers of attorney, healthcare powers of attorney and living wills, mental health powers of attorney, and various types of trusts, including revocable trusts and special needs trusts.
Josh also represents heirs, beneficiaries, fiduciaries and third parties in estate and trust litigation matters.
Through the guardianship and conservatorship process, Josh assists family members seeking to protect those individuals who are no longer able to make appropriate decisions regarding their health care or finances.

In his mental health practice, Josh helps clients gain access to care, and he works with families to help them understand and effectively access Arizona’s uniquely complex mental health system. Josh counsels clients in navigating the notoriously difficult civil commitment process and connects families with his network of care providers. When care is superior in other parts of the country, Josh coordinates the legal, administrative, and practical measures needed to access that care. When necessary, Josh frequently helps families implement a mental health guardianship so they can properly advocate for their mentally ill loved ones. Additionally, a significant portion of Josh’s mental health practice focuses on “psychiatric boarding.”
Laurie Goldstein
Vice President

For the first twenty years of her career, Laurie Goldstein worked as a semiconductor process engineer for Motorola. The next two decades advanced into managerial roles and as senior business analyst as a usability engineer, most recently at NXP Semiconductor.

Laurie divides her philanthropy into three buckets: mental health, education and the arts, inspired to intervene for those struggling with mental health issues by the needs of her adopted son who lives with behavioral and mental disorders.  She is a strong advocate, working with Mental Health America of Arizona, and recently created the Association for the Chronically Mentally Ill (ACMI) whose mission is to work with other stakeholders to improve care of people with chronic mental illness through cost-effective network enhancements.

Laurie sits on Columbia’s Global Mental Health International Advisory Board  pioneering research initiatives. Promoting mental Health. reducing the burden of mental illness worldwide. 

As a Trustee of Arizona State University, Laurie helps advocate for access to quality education for all capable students and sees it as a basic building block of our society. She is a Milestone donor with ASU Gammage, a key component of the cultural landscape of the Valley, focused on performing arts, artist residencies and artist education programs that change lives for the better.

Laurie is a recipient of the Jerry Award for Philanthropy, and the Tony Award from Broadway Across America.

Co-Chairs of the ASU National Arts Council, which aims to use art to solve cultural issues.
Charles Goldstein, M.D. FAAEM Treasurer

Vice Chair of the Mental Health America of AZ Board

​Medical Director – Emergency Department  Honor Health Network

Past president of the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians

Oral examiner – American Board of Emergency Medicine for 30 years credentialing physicians in Emergency Medicine

Vice President of Southwest Shakespeare theater company
50th anniversary leadership board member – Elevate and Alleviate Golden Gammage Initiative

Recipient of the Jerry Award for Philanthropy 2017

Tony Award recipient from Touring Broadway Across America

Co-Chair of Columbia University’s COUNCIL FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF GLOBAL MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH will help support the next generation of mental health researchers around the world who are working to develop new strategies of mental health services and to expand treatment

Co-Chair of the ASU National Arts Council 

Dick Dunseath

Richard D. Dunseath’s business background includes serving as Regional Vice President of United Bank of Arizona, Senior Vice President at Citicorp and President of the Phoenix Division of Biltmore Investors Bank. In 1997 he founded Epic Signs which he sold in 2004.  Currently he manages investments including stocks, bonds, mutual funds and real estate.

Dick has served as President of the Scottsdale Arts Center Association, Program Chair of the Robert Morris Association, Treasurer of Junior Achievement of Central Arizona, President of Phoenix Rotary 100, Chairman of the Board of the Arizona Foundation for Behavioral Health, Director of Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care and Coach of several Little League Baseball and Soccer teams.  

​Presently, he serves on the Board of Directors of Arizona Behavioral Health Corporation, Phoenix Rotary Club Charities, Marc Community Resources Foundation and the Association for the Chronically Mentally Ill.  He is married with three grown children and three grandchildren.  He enjoys reading, hiking and sports.  Dick is dedicated to helping reform Arizona’s mental health care system to better serve chronically mentally ill persons in our community.
Deborah Geesling
Board Member

Deborah is extremely involved in the community of Gilbert and Arizona in general. Her own family experience has given her insight into the struggles that arise for families and individuals who battle serious mental illness and are trying to navigate the mental illness system. Deborah is President of P82 Project Restoration and current Chair of the East Valley Behavioral Health Coalition.

Deborah’s voice has been heard around America. She has been mentioned in several publications for her advocacy and support of those with SMI (Serious Mental Illness). In addition to being written about, she has spoken at conferences and government functions to educate people on problems in the system that lead to people with SMI not receiving the care they need. 
Holly Gieszl
Board Member

​“I pride myself on not judging people based on their mistakes, and on having client-focused representations. Attorneys are licensed as attorneys and counselors at law. I take both parts seriously,” says Holly Gieszl, founder of The Gieszl Firm in Phoenix. 

The firm’s practice areas are criminal defense, often but not always, cases involving mental health, competency and other medical issues; administrative law with a focus on health professionals and regulatory issues affecting health care entities; and civil rights cases involving prisoner and jail inmate health issues. 

Gieszl credits much of her non-judgmental approach to experiences in her family life. “Perhaps part of this approach comes from being a mother with responsibility for children across their lifetime, which inevitably involves good and bad times. Whatever its origin, respectful representation is the hallmark of my approach with criminal clients. This generally means frequent jail or prison visits and legal calls and keeping the client informed every step of the way,” she says.
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