Group Travels To Washington D.C. For Mental Health Policy Change - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Group Travels To Washington D.C. For Mental Health Policy Change

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Denton Couple Turns Pain into Comfort for Others Touched by Suicide

    A Denton couple is trying to use the loss of their son to suicide into comfort for others. And they have a message intended to prevent others from feeling the pain they still do. (Published Friday, June 8, 2018)

    Local Texas governments spend $2.2 billion on unmet mental health needs, according to the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.

    However, many say that's not enough and that a lack of money is causing essential clinics to shut down.

    For 40 years, the Galaxy Counseling Center offered mental health services to residents in Garland, but the center recently shut down.

    NBC 5 couldn't reach anyone with the center for answers, but Bonnie Cook, Executive Director of the Mental Health of America Greater Dallas chapter suspects the closure was because of a lack of funding.   

    Colorado Man Charged With Five Counts of Murder in Deaths of Wife and Daughters

    [NATL] Colorado Man Charged With Five Counts of Murder in Deaths of Wife and Daughters

    Christopher Lee Watts was charged with five counts of murder Monday for the deaths of his wife Shanann Watts and their two daughters Bella and Celeste. Watts had initially pleaded publicly that his wife and daughters had gone missing. Their bodies were discovered on the property of the oil and natural gas company Watts worked for. The D.A. said that it's "too early" to discuss whether prosecutors would seek the death penalty.

    (Published Monday, Aug. 20, 2018)

    "Lots of places, lots of counseling centers are closing due to lack of funding," said Cook.

    Part of the mission of the organization is to make mental health services just as accessible as basic medical services.

    That's now a priority for many, as yet another high profile suicide shines a spotlight on a very private battle.

    "If you have cancer, diabetes, heart disease, you're at the doctors office way before stage four," said Cook.  "If we got a mental illness, we wait until we are in crisis mode and suicidal and to get help and we are already at stage four."

    Cook says people should demand change from their lawmakers and local governing bodies to make suicide prevention and mental wellness a priority.

    Next week, Cook and two others will travel to Washington D.C for the annual Mental Health of America conference, where they will meet with federal lawmakers for more funding and policy change.

    Father, Son Escape Raging Wildfire at Glacier National Park

    [NATL] Father, Son Escape Raging Wildfire at Glacier National Park

    The campers had to drive through the Howe Ridge Fire after it quickly expanded.

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    They also plan to brainstorm with other mental health professionals on better ways to recruit help from like school systems and clergy.

    "People are losing their lives because they don't ask for help.  If the outreach we do saves one person, then I think that's worth it," said Cook.

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