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Piatt County Mental Health Center Executive Director Focused on Education for Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a Piatt County mental health leader is focused on continuing education.


Tony Kirkman is the Executive Director of the Piatt County Mental Health Center and on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, gave an update of statistics that continue to grow as it relates to mental health. His passion is highlighting the data in our youth.



According to Kirkman, one partnership he is glad to see being enhanced in recent years is the partnership between law enforcement and mental health professionals. He believes this is leading to better response for those with mental health issues that are getting into legal or criminal trouble.



A concerning trend among youth in DeWitt and Piatt Counties is the fact there is a lot of kids entertaining ideas of suicide. He believes we need to give kids a healthy avenue to express these feelings. 



The Piatt County Mental Health Center was instrumental in coordinating with a trio of Piatt County school districts to bring a counselor to its halls a few years ago. Kirkman says that the counselor has been extremely busy this year as COVID has greatly impacted district students.



Kirkman hopes the public will continue to educate itself on mental health. He says they see a lot of inappropriate behavior followed by shame. He believes there is no shame in treating mental health issues comparing it to treating a headache or other standard illness. 

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