Local leaders plan mental health initiative

Local government officials and leaders of organizations will be holding a kickoff event next month for a new three-year initiative to address mental health in Bartholomew County and Columbus.

Similar to the creation of the Alliance For Substance Abuse Progress in Bartholomew County, local groups in government, health care, mental health and education are coming together and plan to devote resources to address what they see as an urgent need to act on rising mental health challenges in the community. Organizers say that those challenges are creating new strains on city and county services, schools, healthcare providers and employers. The initiative is meant to understand the local situation, to identify gaps and best practice solutions and to begin implementing solutions.

The keynote speaker at the April event will be Dr. Marc Brackett, PhD, Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University.

Also taking part in the kickoff event will be Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop, Bartholomew County Commissioner Carl Lienhoop, Suzanne Koesel, CEO of Centerstone of Indiana, Jim Bickel, CEO of Columbus Regional Health, Mark Stewart, executive director of the United Way of Bartholomew County and Dr. Jim Roberts, Superintendent, Bartholomew Consolidated Schools.

The free event will be at 6 p.m., on April 5th at The Commons in downtown Columbus and you are invited to attend.