STEUBENVILLE - The National Alliance on Mental Illness is providing Jefferson Behavioral Health System and the Jefferson County Prevention and Recovery Board its informational recreational vehicle for use in Jefferson County next week as a way to raise awareness of mental health and drug and alcohol abuse issues.
This vehicle will be making stops in Steubenville and Wintersville and will be at the Jefferson County Fair.
Lou Stein, Jefferson Behavioral Health System development director, said family and friends of people affected by mental illness or drug and alcohol addiction, or the individuals themselves, can visit the RV to get information.
"We are extremely excited about this opportunity," said Pamela Petrilla, county Prevention and Recovery Board director. "The RV is certainly an attention-getting tool. It will bring awareness and education to our community."
Mental health and alcohol and drug abuse counselors will man the vehicle providing information about local resources, Petrilla said.
Lisa Ward, Jefferson Behavioral Health Community Support Program administrator, said she believes local residents will take the opportunity to see what help and resources are available.
"With all the violence, tragedy and suicides in our small community. we hope the visit will help prevent similar incidents from happening in the future," Ward said. "People will see the RV as a sign of hope and help."
Petrilla said the timing is perfect because children will be going back to school soon. She said mental health agencies get a lot of referrals about youth and family problems in September.
Ward said she has discovered many people in the community don't know the resources that are out there to help with mental health problems or drug and alcohol addiction.
"We are hoping it will break or reduce the stigma of mental illness.The only way to do that is through education," Petrilla said.
The mental health RV's schedule is as follows:
Monday, 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., downtown Steubenville, across from City Building; and 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Wal-Mart parking lot, Fort Steuben Mall.
Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., Trinity Medical Center West/Jefferson Behavioral System parking lot; and 2 p.m. until 7 p.m., Hollywood City Center.
Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Urban Mission Warehouse, North Street; and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Jefferson County Fairgrounds.
Thursday, 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.,, Riesbecks/Create-A-Room.