JUDGE: Milam County Health Summit - another first
Last week we held the first ever Milam County Health Summit. The purpose of the summit was to gather those who deal with physical and mental health issues in the same room to raise awareness to the issues we face in the county and the resources that are available.
Over 100 people were in attendance, including representative from many involved physical and mental health agencies. Representatives from Central County Services, who provide mental health services in the county, the Texas Workforce Commission, the Central Texas Council of Government, United Way, Baylor Scott and White and many others were in attendance. Each spoke of different health issues that are keenly relevant today.
Central County Services (CCS) is headquartered in Temple and provides mental health services here in Milam County. It has offices at the One Stop in Rockdale and in Cameron at 708 N. Crocket Ave., which is adjacent to the new Milam County Annex. CCS is under the direction of Johnnie Wardell and it provides mental health services to the indigent and low income through a grant from the State of Texas. It is an excellent source of information and help for any one with issues involving mental health.
Texas Workforce has many programs that are available that touch on physical and mental health. Of course, good employment is critical to a healthy lifestyle and insurance benefits. Belief it or not, economic development is crucial to good health as a vibrant economic development program brings about good jobs, a better lifestyle and better benefits. We have worked diligently in the county to bring about economic development and much progress has been made.
Early child intervention is a critical aspect of mental health. When a child begins acting out at school it is crucial for teachers and counselors to be familiar with the symptoms and potential treatment. Students who act out at school are those that typically have problems at home. Being able to understand that both the child and parent need help and that help must be given when the issue arises and not later is essential to treatment.
We were fortunate to have many counselors from the various schools in attendance. Superintendent Elizabeth Luevanos did an excellent job of addressing mental health issues facing the Milano ISD. She helped all of us get a better understanding of what is going on in everyday school life.
This was an excellent first summit to begin the conversation as to the problems we face in the County and the resources that are available now to assist those in need. As simple as it seems, physical and mental health are critical to our everyday existence. Yet the basics often get overlooked, especially in the mental health area, where we often turn the other way when a mental health issue arises. Delayed treatment for these issues, simply causing worse, more costly problems. No doubt we had the right people in the room to learn more about all of these concerns and what can be done to resolve them.