Gastonia neighbors aim to 'end stigma' about mental health

Gastonia neighbors aim to 'end stigma' about mental health
Published: Jun. 8, 2018 at 3:01 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2018 at 9:01 PM EDT
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GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - People in Gastonia are eager to help one another when it comes to mental health.

"There was a tragedy," Rene Crump said. "And it got us all thinking about mental illness, what can we do to help."

Crump is one of many who filled a seat at the mental health town hall in Gastonia Thursday.

It comes after Roger Self rammed his car into a restaurant, killing two members of his family and hurting others. Those close to him have said he suffers from mental illness.

"It kind of gave this more life, kind of gave it a sense of urgency," Gastonia Councilman Robert Kellogg said.

Kellogg organized the event , a question and answer for those concerned in the community.

In the crowd – Crump, who works at a local library.

"People trust us," she said. "And they tell us lots of things.  And I want to be able to head them in the right direction."

"Ending the stigma" was the theme Thursday. Those present are now trying to change the conversation about mental health.

"Stoicism is deep in the water here," one panelist said.

There is an outcry from this community for more resources.

"Something that's lacking…when you try to make an appointment it can take three, sometimes up to six months," one community member said.

"There's not enough funding, here's not enough resources," Kellogg said.

Groups present Thursday include the following:

  • CaroMont Health Psychiatric Associates 704-865-3848
  • PARTNERS behavioral health management 877-864-1454
  • Phenix counseling center 704-842-6359

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