Thanks so much for the positive feedback and questions. This was the first panel discussion that the Collab organized, and overall, it went very well thanks to everyone who was in attendance including; Mayor Mike Summers and Councilwoman Mary Louise Madigan. It is so appreciated, and reassuring, when our elected leaders take time from their day to listen to citizens regarding the issues affecting Lakewood.
Many members are so passionate about the Collab because it offers a platform in which any number of Lakewood groups can come together to solve common problems facing our shared community. When we are willing to talk to each other, whether it be about the schools or mental health issues, it doesn't take long for a spark to initiate action. The panel discussion was just the spark--many are already talking about what action can be taken with the information that was learned and when we can followup this discussion with another. I wanted to take a moment to address questions/comments. I may not have all of the answers, but I will be sure to pass this information on to members of the Collab that are knowledgeable on these issues.
My biggest "take aways" were learning about the availability of Mental Health First Aid Training through Recovery Resources and the need for increased awareness & compassion in our community.
From the professionals: "The next time you come across a stranger/neighbor talking to themselves, ask them if they are OK."
Dial 211 for a directory of County Health & Human Service Agencies.
Meg, thank you for posting this information. The Collab works hard to structure monthly meetings that are productive so that everyone who attends feels like their time has been spent well. We will let you know more about Mental Health First Aid and steps that the Collab takes with the information we learned at the panel discussion.
Something I wanted to ask, and perhaps Monique Smith, who was the City Council Representative on the panel can help find the answer, is:
"How are our police trained in regards to dealing with calls involving situations with people involving mental health issues?"
Like coaches and teachers who are required to take CPR and First Aid Classes, do our Police officers to take the Mental Health First Aid Training Class offered through Recovery Resources or another such type of class?
Usually the ward officers are in attendance at the meetings. They have been really great members of the Collab and help keep us informed about the important role police play in these issues.
Councilwoman Monique Smith chairs the City of Lakewood Health and Human Services Committee while Tom Bullock and David Anderson are members. As you know, Councilwoman Smith participated on the panel. She was very committed to listening to the discussion and we are glad she could take time out of her work day to attend. I am sure any 3 of our councilpersons could answer your questions as I am not sure what training the police receive regarding mental health issues. These are great questions and important for an overall understanding of how we all can work together to handle the challenges that arise with the population of mentally ill in our community rising and being misunderstood or under-served.
Would LOVE to attend ... but in the middle of a work day!! Any chance of this being offer again in the evening or on a weekend?
Peter, the Collab meets during the day because many of our members consist of professionals who work county-wide that make it part of their work day to attend. Evenings are tough because that is when many meet with the families/kids they are trying to serve. You make a valid point;however, and we have discussed how we can make evening events work. The Collab will continue this discussion and try to include evening times in our next program year. Thanks, Peter.
The next Lakewood Family Collaborative Meeting and Picnic is Thursday, June 28th. The “Spotlight” speaker is Dale Miller. We will meet from 1pm-2:30pm at the Lakewood Women’s Pavilion at Lakewood Park. Collab meetings are open and everyone is welcome to attend.