Supervisors proclaim May as Mental Health Month

Board addresses fireworks permits

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship Mental health service providers looked on Tuesday morning as the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors signed a proclamation declaring May as Mental Health Month.

Mental health providers gathered Tuesday morning during the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors meeting to witness the signing of a proclamation. May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

Patti Treibel Leeds, director of community services for Central Iowa Community Services in Hamilton County, said that like many other diseases, its important to treat mental illnesses as early as possible.

“When we think of cancer or heart disease or anything like that, we don’t wait until the diseases final stages to treat it. We should do the same with mental health issues,” she said. “When we someone not feeling right, we need make sure that we’re addressing the situation and getting them the help they need.”

Treibel-Leeds said that one in five American adults will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year, and 50 percent of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition some time in their lifetime. Half of those will develop conditions by the age of 14, she said.

“We want people to know that there is help available if they need it, that they are not alone. They can reach out to us at anytime,” she said. In Hamilton, Central Iowa Community Services offers a 24-hour crisis line, 844-258-8858, for those in need of help, according to Treibel-Leeds.

She added that although mental illness has been stigmatized in the past, her group and other professionals in the field, are working to make sure that changes.

Several providers gathered to witness the signing of the proclamation.

Due to recent changes in legislation, individuals who wish to display fireworks will no longer be required to have a permit in the unincorporated areas Hamilton County.

“We’re following the Code of Iowa on this,” Young said. “We visited with the sheriff and the county attorney on this. It is what it is.”

Previously, a permit and proof of liability insurance were required.

In other business, the board approved the hiring of Nathan Bueltel as a part-time jailer. His official hire date was May 12. The board also received the resignation of transporter Patrick Buckingham.

The board also recognized the termination of a position in the Hamilton County Public Health department.

“This is a reduction in staff for the department,” according to Board Chairman David Young. “Christine Hassebrock has been a long-standing employee since 2008. The reason for the reduction is because the managed care organizations do not have local case managers or a funding budget any more due to the privatization of health care in Iowa. This is one of the casualties of that.”

“We wish her the very best and thank her for her service to the county through the years,” Young said.

Carrie Hisler, service coordinator for Hamilton County, Don Watson, jail diversion, Jodi Harms, program director for Senior Life Solutions at VDMC, Mary Lemas, orogram therapist for, Angie Goings, office patient coordinator; Shelby Kroona, HCPH


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