May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the Sarpy County Defender’s Office is co-hosting an event for families in need throughout the state on Saturday. Attorney Chris Lathrop says at the Mental Health Resource Expo their goal is to provide information to recognize the signs of mental illness and then direct them where to go for help.
Lathrop says, “We are hoping that people can get into the system and get the mental health they need before they get to the criminal justice system. That is one of the reason that Nebraska Medicine partnered with us to sponsor this event is they see the same things in the emergency rooms. If we can get people suffering from these behavioral health issues to services before it becomes a critical issue, we can avoid police intervention and avoid trips to the emergency room.”
Those attending will be able to speak directly to the people who can provide the services and help them navigate the system. There will be a number of mental health support specialists on hand to help answer questions in a private setting. Over 15 local mental health agencies are taking part and there will be six speakers providing valuable information.
All Nebraskans are invited to attend. It is free of charge and will be held at Thanksgiving Lutheran Church at 3702 S. 270 Plaza in Bellevue. It runs from 9 a.m. until noon.