May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As part of our community’s efforts to raise awareness of mental health issues and the resources available to assist those in need, the city of Natchitoches sponsored “A Talk About Mental Health” Tuesday, May 31 at the Natchitoches Events Center. Red River Academic Academy counselor and Natchitoches resident Persunda Raymond organized the event.
NCHS counselor Twanna Harris delivered the opening prayer. Councilwoman, and Mayor Pro Tempore, Betty Smith filled in for Mayor Williams as emcee, introducing the speakers and entertainers and keeping the evening flowing smoothly. An audience of over 80 young people and their families gathered to hear from a range of speakers. A phenomenal group of young people from St. Mary’s and NCHS, Anna Katherine Coleman, Mason McCart, and Madison Raymond spoke about challenges facing young people. Ms. Erin Boyt from Natchitoches Regional Medical Center spoke about the mental health resources available from the NRMC system. Dr. Patrick Wheat of the Parish’s Behavioral Health Unit gave a talk on the various forms of mental illness.
The evening also featured some fun entertainment as various local dance and cheer schools showed off their best routines for the appreciative crowd. The audience was able to visit with visiting agencies and providers and learn about the resources available in our community.
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