The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

August 4, 2013

A small step forward

The News Courier

— The News Courier would like to thank all those who participated and helped organize last Tuesday’s mental health forum at Athens State University.

About 50 people attended the evening event, which featured a panel consisting of local law enforcement officers Capt. Anthony Pressnell of the Athens Police Department and Lt. Guy Simmons of the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office.

Probate Judge Charles Woodroof and mental health officers Jerry Wilhoite and Lisa Coleman rounded out the panel.

Dr. Jess Brown, a political science professor at ASU, served as moderator and Limestone resident Rex Davis helped pull the whole thing together.

The panelists offered informative facts about how to recognize the symptoms of mental illness and what resources are available for the afflicted. We hope those in attendance gained useful information.

The stigma of mental illness can be as harmful as the effects themselves, and continuing cutbacks at the federal and state level have done nothing to improve matters.

We hope our forum, which was co-sponsored by ASU, represented a small step toward local awareness.