Letter: Community volunteers can help with mental health services | Letters

help with mental health services

Thank you, Free Lance–Star. Cathy Dyson’s ‘conference focuses on local mental health needs’ [Aug. 24] recharged my mind.

I have never regretted subscribing to the daily. My spirit and passion was sparked to serve our community when I read the article which featured local professionals detailing our mental health needs.

I gained a better understanding of our need to retain and support the talented professionals needed to meet the growing need for mental health services.

I urge my neighbors and concerned citizens to join those of us who have a passion for volunteering and/or training in mental health preventive first aid or training as recovery specialists through pairs. We can help close the gaps in our mental health service delivery system, giving our agency-certified professionals the support they desperately need.

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I reflected for several days on loss detailed at the Behavioral Health Workforce Development Summit, but I was comforted. Learning pathways are offered to address the career and professional workforce challenges we face as a community. However, licensed professionals serving our youth remain a significant challenge.

I felt relieved that I chose to take certified mental first aid training for people working with adults organized by the Rappahannock Area Community Service Board with my husband several years ago. Two dynamic ladies, Michelle Wagaman and Sherry Norton–Williams, were the trainers for the sessions we attended.

I encourage everyone who is concerned and willing to offer support to our friends, neighbors and family members to learn the best practices that support those experiencing a mental health challenge.

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