Valley Mental Health Coalition Meets

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The Valley Mental Health Coalition met Thursday to lay out a set of initiatives for the future.

Officials from Western State Hospital, the Valley Community Services Board, and the Office on Youth are just some of the members.

They say a drop in resources at the service and funding level is making it harder to keep up with the growing need for mental health assistance.

One of the group's first goals is education and getting the word out to the community about mental health concerns.

Linda Gail Johnson from the Augusta Health Foundations says, "This is critical to our area because the mental health issue came as a top priority for our community needs assessment. We feel like we have to address it."

Another part of the strategic plan is early prevention of certain mental health diseases such as depression.

The group will start meeting every other month, and it plans on being an active resource for the community.