Ensuring mental wellness has long been an under-appreciated task for the heads of police agencies. Displaying stoicism is deeply ingrained in the professional culture of police officers and other emergency-response personnel.
Though Midlanders Janci Bridges and Tina Sawyers joined the military for different reasons, they both had a common goal: to make a drastic change in their lives and create opportunity for themselves.
Gallentine is part of a unique tribe of people, a tribe that still faces harsh stigmas. But as part of the Messengers Clean and Sober Riding Club, which has chapters in the Lubbock and Odessa areas, he proudly displays his status as an alcoholic. Not everyone is so open, and that is part of the reason why programs like PDAP are just that: anonymous. Addiction is difficult to talk about and shameful for most who struggle with it. When it comes to mental health and substance abuse issues, the perception that there is nowhere to find help is stronger than for physical health issues such as diabetes or heart disease because of this stigma.
"100 percent of the kids I see come in with some issues relating to social media," said Heather Mason, MISD crisis counselor. Mental health professionals are noticing that more children are enduring some kind of abuse at an earlier age because of their access to social media and the expansiveness of the web.
Sept. 1 was an unusually calm day for the Midland County Sheriff’s Office’s Crisis Response Team, a unit of four deputies and a sergeant trained in mental health issues. CRT investigators respond to calls of mental health crises across the county with the goal of keeping these people out of jail.
MHFA, an eight-hour training course, is designed to help laymen recognize mental illness and mental crises in youth and respond in an appropriate manner. It's primarily about learning to notice and communicate, said PBCC MHFA instructor Michelle Barnes.
Former Detroit Lions quarterback Eric Hipple began a 10-year legacy in the NFL with what is still considered one of the greatest debuts in league history. During his first starting game against the Chicago Bears, Hipple passed for 336 yards and threw four touchdowns on a Monday Night Football game in 1981. He remembers the crowd's roar and the exhilaration he felt when he realized he had accomplished a childhood goal: being a starting quarterback for a professional team.
The first Sexual Assault Investigation Conference occurred Wednesday at Midland College's Advanced Technology Center. A partnership between Midland Rape Crisis and Children's Advocacy Center and MC, the conference brought presenter Anne Munch, an attorney and advocate for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, to Midland to present trauma-informed strategies for law enforcement, social workers, psychologists, counselors, and health professionals involved in sexual assault cases.
"Sneeze, Marley!" Carol Hall instructed her and her husband Gary's 8-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who sat on the floor of a waiting room at Midland's Rape Crisis and Children's Advocacy Center. Sneezing on command is just one of the many talents of Marley, a Children's Advocacy Center (and hospital and hospice) therapy dog. But his greatest gift is his ability to provide comfort at times no human can.
Near the beginning of her ninth grade year, KaitLynn Burns, 16, started experiencing drastic mood swings that she couldn't keep under control. For most of life, her grandmother and legal guardian, Brenda Haney, thought her acting out was a way of dealing with childhood traumas. But when Burns was 14, things turned for the worse. "I'd be in third period and just burst out in tears, or, after school, somebody would look at me wrong, and I'd bash their head into a pole or at least think about it," said Burns, a junior at Odessa High School.
The Midland County Commissioners’ Court voted unanimously Monday to contribute $25,000 to the Midland Memorial Foundation for a Mental Health Study. The study conducted by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute will look at the state of mental health and mental health care in Midland with the goal of closing the community’s need gaps.
“Jennifer” has had a life filled with many trials. Her father was an alcoholic with bipolar disorder who turned violent after an accident caused him severe brain damage and worsened his condition. She struggled since adolescence with alcoholism and drug abuse. She went through a traumatic divorce in 1995. That was the last straw. The 61-year-old Midland woman, who asked to remain anonymous, suffered a psychotic break and was diagnosed as bipolar.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds, according to information released by MISD for Suicide Prevention Week. Thankfully, Aspen did not join those particular statistics, but she suffered from something else much too common in young adults. Though statistics are hard to come by, Aspen's is one anecdotally common in the teenage population: Cutting.
Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country, according to the Texas Medical Association. The legislature's decision not to expand Medicaid has forced local providers to bear the brunt of losing federal funding. In 2012, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ranked Texas 50th in terms of delivery of health care services in the nation. "Indigent care is a huge problem in this area, so the hospitals and local providers have to pick up a lot of the slack for that," CEO of Permian Basin Community Centers (PBCC) Ramona Thomas said.
Warren said suicide often is quickly attributed to bullying, but this attitude only focuses on one potential cause for a child to follow through with such a tragic decision.