‘Bus tour for mental health’ hitting Jacksonville streets to educate, spread awareness

Safety and Crime Reduction Commission launching mental health awareness campaign

Safety and crime reduction commission launching mental health awareness campaign

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A citizen-led group is working to bring awareness about the impact of violent crime, trauma and mental health within Jacksonville’s community.

The Jacksonville City Council Safety and Crime Reduction Commission (SCRC) will launch a campaign to connect residents with available resources and services. The goals are to break the cycle of generational trauma and end the stigma of mental health.

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“Mental health is important because a lot of time when kids are young we don’t really think about mental health but mental health is really important,” Samuel Newby, City Council President, said. “We need to let people know that it’s not a stigma. Mental health could come to anybody.”

Dr. Constance Hall, the SCRC Chair, said good mental health is crucial and said it’s just as important as physical health.

“So many people in communities all over Jacksonville, especially children, witness crime or experience trauma in our city,” Hall said. “For some, violence is normalized. It becomes a way of life. It can also create anxiety in some and anger in others. We want residents to know help is available. We want to encourage them to take advantage of the support and resources. They are not alone.”

In partnership with the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), commissioners will host Community Bus Tours in various neighborhoods.

The first stop will be on the Eastside on Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. – noon at The Church of Oakland. It will be an event for the whole family.

There will be music, refreshments and educational resources. Experts will also be on hand to talk with parents, children and community members about the importance of mental health care to cope with the impact of violence, stress and trauma in our community.

“We need to talk about it, we need to talk about teen suicide, we need to talk about the anxiety and pressures that children feel yet we expect them to go to school to be successful,” Hall said.

About the Author:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a communication degree.