News Courier –
Local citizens can provide input in how mental health needs are addressed in North Alabama when the Mental Health Center of North Central Alabama hosts a stakeholder’s meeting Monday.
The meeting will be split into two sessions — one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The morning session is 10 a.m.–noon, while the afternoon session is 1:30–3:30 p.m.
The morning session is for law enforcement, community mental health experts, district and probate judges and hospital personnel. The afternoon session is for consumer and peer organizations, complex populations, business and community agencies.
Each meeting will take place at the Mental Health Center of North Central Alabama office at 1316 Somerville Road SE, Suite 1, Decatur. Sessions are free but limited to 120 participants. Visit www.mhcnca.org/stake-holders to register for the meetings.
Giguere, developmental officer for the Mental Health Center of North Central Alabama, said the meetings are the first step toward what he hopes will be the building of a crisis stabilization unit for those with psychiatric emergencies in North Alabama.
“The state of Alabama has allocated in excess of $18 million to the Department of Mental Health to establish four new crisis stabilization units across the state,” he said, adding there currently is no such unit locally and therefore no way to help those experiencing a psych emergency. “My hope is that we will apply for funding through the Alabama Department of Mental Health to establish a crisis stabilization unit here in North Central Alabama.”
The first step to making that dream a reality is for local stakeholders to show up at meetings and show Department of Mental Health consultants how great the need, Giguere said.
“This is a chance to talk to consultants who are heading up these projects that these are the services we need for mental health,” he said. “All of these people are coming to say ‘Here are the needs and here’s how we want them addressed through these funds.’”
For more information about the meeting, contact Giguere at 256-355-6105.