The Community Health Improvement Coalition, held its first mental health conference on October 10 at the civic center. Titled “Mental Health: The Family, Community and You,” it brought together a diverse group of speakers who spoke on Trends In Mental Health, Adolescent Mental Health, Trauma and Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System. Organized by CHIC’s Mental Health Committee, the conference was a huge success that could not have been made possible without the participation of the committee members and sponsors. I would like to acknowledge and thank the following committee members for their work in bringing more awareness and information to the community on the topic of mental health and making this conference possible: Henry Gomez, with the Bank and Trust; Nancy and Lynn Masterson with CHIC; Jose Guerrero and Araceli Ramirez with Texas Department of Health; Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez, Val Verde County Sheriff’s Office, Esmeralda Meza, City of Del Rio; Kelly Nowicki and Bernadine Peters with Val Verde Regional Medical Center; Carmen Gutierrez with the Office of Congressman Will Hurd; Raquel Rodriguez with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension office; Claudia Lopez with BCFS; Adrian Bitela, Val Verde County Veterans Office; Celso Barrientos with West Texas Counseling Services; Brenda Hoffman with Southwest Border Area Health Education Center, Rachel Cedillo with Hill Country MHDD; Jesus Ramon with JRL Consulting; Maria Navejar, Mario Arreola and Krystal Lopez with SCAN-Serving Children and Adults in Need, and Zachary Cadena with Senator Pete Flores’ office.

In addition, a big thank you goes to our sponsors. This conference would not have been possible without their support and generosity: City of Del Rio, Val Verde Regional Medical Center, Val Verde County Sheriff’s Office, Val Verde County Commissioners Court, Walmart, Del Rio Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, Southwest Border AHEC, South Coastal AHEC, District Attorney Michael Bagley, Border Federal Credit Union, Cedar Crest Hospital, Falcon Bank, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Amistad Bank, Toyota of Del Rio, Casa de la Cultura and Starbucks.

In addition, the response from the community was very positive and we appreciate all those that took time to attend and educate themselves on the role that mental health plays in our lives. We look forward to continuing to work with the community in addressing issues around mental health.

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