RESPECT Day to promote mental health awareness

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Nevada Daily Mail

How long has this been going on and how did this get started?

This is the third RESPECT Day. It began as a result of the Crisis Intervention Team having the desire to educate the community about the specialized training that local law enforcement officers have been completing to ensure that people in the community who are experiencing crises related to their mental health get the appropriate treatment.

Who is doing this?

Amanda Fisher (director of in-home services with On My Own Inc.) is the RESPECT Day committee chair. The committee was formed by the CIT Coordinating Council. "The committee, made up of representatives from various agencies, has put forth a lot of effort to make this event a success again this year," said Fisher. They have partnered with local agencies that provide services for people who may be experiencing problems with their mental health.

The RESPECT Institute speakers, a highlight of the event, will be sharing their stories about the difficulties they have had in the past and how they have overcome obstacles. In addition, a guest speaker from Celebrate Recovery will share about her recovery journey that involves a personal experience with mental health issues.

Why are you doing this?

"We are providing this event for the community to promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention. We want community members to know the great things that are happening in our community in the field of mental health.

"Some of these include the CIT training for more than 50 percent of our Nevada police force; a coordinating council made up of stakeholders in the field to improve communication between providers and law enforcement; the formation of the Healthy Nevada Mental Health Committee and their 'Mental Health Matters' campaign including a resource booklet; the inception of Mental Health Court in Vernon County; and RESPECT Speakers who have been active in sharing their stories in the community since 2009; to name a few."

Why the public should attend:

"Every person is impacted by mental health in some way -- either they have had a direct personal experience, or they have a friend, family member, or co-worker who has. Every person who attends this event will benefit from the information shared by those who have been touched in some way by mental illness -- they will be able to take away information regarding how to better handle it when they or someone they know is experiencing a crisis. They will have more knowledge, which is what is needed to fight the stigma associated with mental health in our society."

What gave you the idea for this kind of activity?

"This event came from the CIT Coordinating Council wanting to not only celebrate the success of CIT in the community up to this point, but also to make mental health a topic that people can talk about openly. Mental Health has been a taboo subject for far too long. Awareness makes it easier for people to handle and talk about it in a way much like they talk about their physical health problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes."

What are your goals for this event?

1) Celebrate CIT and educate the community regarding CIT -- what it is and the positive impact it has made in Nevada.

2) Promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

What else do you want the public to know about this?

There will be drawings at each break for door prizes. The prizes have been donated by local businesses to whom we are very grateful.

There is a poster contest in conjunction with the event. There are three age divisions, and people who are interested in entering the contest can pick up poster board and instructions at Pathways, On My Own, Inc., Probation and Parole, or Heartland.

The first, second, and third place winners in each age division will receive Wal-Mart gift cards donated by Cottey College as their prize. The posters must include the following theme(s): Kindness, Dignity, Self-Esteem, Character, Value, Self-Worth, Wellness, and Respect ... in relationship to promoting mental health wellness.

From noon to 1, there will be some different events happening from what we have done the last two years. One event will be QPR training (Question, Persuade, Refer), which is a short training regarding how to help if somebody you know is experiencing problems.

Also during that time for those who are not interested in that training, there will be a resource share, where providers who attend will be able to share briefly about their agency, including what services they provide and what a person needs to do to get connected to those services.

Another part of the event is the Question and Answer panel that is held. Various professionals, mental health clients, and CIT officers will field questions from the audience during this time.

On My Own, Inc. has donated refreshments for the event.

About the event


Thursday, Sept. 10 -- (This is chosen because it is National Suicide Prevention Day); 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Franklin P. Norman City/County Community Center


Amanda Fisher (On My Own, Inc.) 417-667-7007, or

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: