Verde Valley AZ (February 21, 2014) – In September 2013 The Arizona Humanities Council sponsored a statewide conversation on Mental Health issues. Thirty five interested people from Sedona and surrounding communities gathered at Yavapai College Sedona to participate in the live streamed broadcast and local conversation.
At the end of the evening, several residents and health professionals decided to come together as a steering committee to further discuss needs, resources and possible actions to address mental health issues in our local communities.
The group has met monthly since September and now calls itself the Mental Health Coalition Verde Valley (MHCVV). Members include Dr. Robert A. Berry, Ph.D.; Phil Billiam, Christ Lutheran Church Task Force Chair; Rose Boerner, President, National Alliance on Mental Illness Sedona (NAMI); Stephen C. Gill, Ph.D.; Elizabeth Keller, advocate for mental health and the criminal justice system; George Krueger, Christ Lutheran Church Task Force; Barbara Litrell, meeting facilitator; Judy Maloney, mental health advocate; Barbara Mayer, Interfaith Minister and writer; and Janet McFarland, educator and mental health advocate.
MHCVV is committed to developing a list of resources in the Verde Valley, researching model programs to help establish goals for our area particularly including mental health and criminal justice collaborations, organizing another community conversation in 2014 on Mental Health Issues, bringing together faith communities as resources to raise awareness in the community, developing a portfolio of stories to make the issues real to our communities, helping families caring for people with mental health issues, and helping to expand participation in the Mental Health First Aid programs that already exist.
The Coalition believes that the better informed our community is, the more we can help our neighbors obtain the services they require and speak with one voice to advocate for the needs of our local communities. For more information, contact Rose Boerner, NAMI Sedona at firstname.lastname@example.org.