Hays County Commissioners Court Proclaims Mental Illness Awareness Week, Thanks Scheib Center for its Assistance to Citizens
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – At its October 2 meeting the Hays County Commissioners Court proclaimed October 7-13 as Mental Illness Awareness Week. Mental Illness Awareness Week hopes to shine a light on mental illness and fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for equal care.
Court members thanked Scheib Center and Hill Country mental health professionals for their assistance to area residents who live with mental illnesses.
“Thank you for bringing awareness to mental health care needs and services,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe said.
Ed Kuny, chair of the Scheib Board of Directors and a longtime member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), told the Court that according to the National Institutes of Health approximately 20 percent of the population have a diagnosis of some type of severe, persistent mental illness.
In addition to treatment by medical professionals, the Scheib Center offers support groups and a wide variety of treatment options for clients, including cognitive training and socialization activities such as art classes, lunches in area restaurants, and other group activities. Some clients of the Center also serve as specially-trained peer group counselors.
Kuny, who has traveled the state looking at mental health practices and centers, told the Court that “we’re darn lucky to have the Scheib Center here,” as well as services such as a 24/7 Mobile Crisis Outreach Team that responds to citizens in mental health crisis, and fulltime Mental Health Officers serving in area law enforcement.
“Our community is a better place because of you, Scheib Center, and the people who serve at Scheib,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell said, noting that Mr. Kuny has dedicated his life to the subject of mental illness.
“Whether we’re part of the 20 percent or not, we all need to work together – all of us as human beings – in our communities for better health,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant said.
According to the proclamation, an estimated 26 percent of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness, with an estimated 46 percent living with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders, and some 20 percent of state prisoners and 21 percent of local jail prisoners have “a recent history” of a mental health condition.
Kuny noted that ensuring services are available can help keep citizens who need mental illness treatment get the help they need, and stay out of jail.
For additional information about mental health services in Hays County, contact the Scheib Center at
512-392-7151 or visit http://scheibcenter.org/.
Left to right, Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, Precinct 1 Constable and Scheib Center Board member David Peterson, Scheib Center Board Chair Ed Kuny, Scheib Center clients Thomas Kuny, Raven Sharp – who also serves as a Certified Peer Specialist and Whole Health Practitioner – and Penny McWhorter; Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell, and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant.