FREDERICKTOWN — The Fredericktown Neighborhood Watch group held its quarterly meeting Saturday morning at Fredericktown High School and the theme was mental health and awareness.
School Resource Officer Ronny Flynn helped welcome guest speaker Tara L. Schultz, who is the Clinical Director for the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Licking and Knox Counties, and she gave a talk and a presentation about mental health awareness. She presented the audience of Fredericktown residents with clues, warning signs and indications of mental illness and how to deal with incidents if they presented themselves.
“When we think about mental health, a good place to start is thinking about how we would begin to identify someone who might have some mental health issues,” Schultz said. “When you think about what you would notice, what you would notice is behavior. But what we need to understand is that emotion and thinking obviously impacts people’s behavior. While somebody may appear angry, they actually may be depressed underneath. They may have other things going on underneath, but all we’re going to be able to notice is the behavior.”
Schultz touched on a variety of topics, including substance abuse and the connection between traumatic experiences, drug use and mental health issues.
“Trauma is something that we’ve really come to be aware of how much of an impact this has on folks,” Schultz said. “We’ve come to understand that the impact has huge ramifications for their whole lives. So a lot of that understanding helped people understand some of these things.”
Schultz then explained to the group that the more educated a group is about mental health, the more it can have a positive impact when you look at different areas where one can become that positive adult person for kids and younger people.
There are many different resources in Licking and Knox County to address mental health issues, such as Crisis Intervention Training for law enforcement, which has a module on kid’s mental health; Knox County Overdose Response Team and there is a mental health first aid course that is an eight-hour class on how to recognize and react to a mental health crisis.
More information can be found at www.MHRLK.org.