Elkhart Councilman wants mental health dialogue

ELKHART, Ind. – It has not been an easy start to the new year for Michiana, between nonstop severe weather and local news making national headlines.  The community it seems has been hit with one tragedy after another, that is why one Elkhart Council member is trying to start a community dialogue. 

"Our community is affected, it makes us think before we go to the grocery store, before we go out everyday," says Elkhart Councilman Brian Dickerson.

Dickerson wants to put an end to the feelings of fear that some community members have as a result of recent incidents of violence.

His plan to help those dealing with the recent tragic events is to start a dialogue about mental health awareness at the next city council meeting.

"The mental health aspect of how people are affected by those tragic events are something that need to be looked at," says Dickerson.

In order to get a better look, Dickerson is bringing in reinforcement.

The National Association on Mental Illness will be on hand during the meeting to show the public what help is available locally.

"If we can reassure people, if we can encourage people in the right way and provide the resources and avenues for them, to feel better about their community, I think that is a good thing," says Dickerson.

Dickerson says he hopes the meeting will not only educate, but will give Elkhart the tools to move on, grow, and learn.

"I want the community to take a more aggressive stance on encouraging people's education on mental illness and mental health advocacy so that we can encourage people to get the help that they need before we have things happen that affect the community in such a tragic way," says Dickerson.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. this Monday at the Elkhart City Hall. Two members of the National Association of Mental Illness will be there and Councilman Dickerson urges the public to attend.

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