News Briefs

Links plans mental illness awareness program for March 24


The Jackson (MS) Chapter of the Links, Inc., in collaboration with the Women’s Council for Philanthropy at Jackson State University, will present a mental illness awareness program in celebration of Women’s History Month at 6 p.m. March 24 at Jackson Medical Mall Community Meeting Room, 350 W. Woodrow Wilson Drive.

The program titled “Lifting the Veil of Silence: Mental Illness and African Americans” will feature an engaging discussion on mental health issues by a panel of speakers who are involved in the counseling and treatment of mentally ill persons, advocates for public policy regarding mental health, and those with personal stories of struggles with mental illness.

The purpose of this forum is to promote dialogue within the African-American community about mental illness and to identify resources for treatment and support for mentally ill people and their families.

Panelists include Dr. Clyde Glenn, psychiatrist, Rehoboth Psychiatric Services; Tameka Smith, executive director of National Alliance on Mental Illness in Mississippi; LaTisha Willis, Jackson-area mental health advocate; Wanda Lacy, licensed professional counselor, Hinds Behavioral Health Services; Lacy’s Consulting Solutions, Dana Sims, Jackson attorney and former legal counsel for the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department and chairperson of the Hinds County Crisis Intervention Team.

The public is invited. Light refreshments will be served.


Dept. of Mental Health to hold special day at Capitol April 6


The Mississippi Department of Mental Health is celebrating Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month at the annual IDD “Day at the Capitol” from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. April 6, at the State Capitol.

The goal of the event is to increase the public’s knowledge and awareness of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and how they participate and contribute to their communities. Service providers will be available at the event to provide additional information.

“We have been working to build a statewide system that promotes and encourages person-centered services and supports and I encourage all Mississippians to learn more about this,” DMH Executive Director Diana Mikula said.

Intellectual and developmental disabilities cover a broad range of often misunderstood characteristics. An intellectual disability is characterized by limitations in intellectual functioning and challenges in a variety of everyday social and practical skills. A developmental disability is attributed to a cognitive or physical impairment that results in the need for supports in areas such as personal care, communication, and independent living.

More than 41,000 fellow Mississippians live with intellectual or developmental disabilities, affecting numerous members of their families, friends and their communities. Under the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, the state operates six IDD programs – Boswell Regional Center in Magee, Ellisville State School in Ellisville, Hudspeth Regional Center in Whitfield, Mississippi Adolescent Center in Brookhaven, North Mississippi Regional Center in Oxford and South Mississippi Regional Center in Long Beach.


Canton School District plans workshop for mentors and job fair


The Canton Public School District invites anyone interested in volunteering or mentoring its students to an interactive training workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 30, at the district’s Central Office, 403 E. Lincoln St.

The training for the Community Volunteer and Mentoring Program is designed to provide participants with effective strategies for building a relationship with the youth served in the district. The workshop will also ensure participants are equipped to adequately meet the needs of students prior to them serving as mentors or volunteers.

Lunch will be served.

The district will also hold a job fair from 9 a.m. to noon April 9, at the Goodloe Elementary School. CPSD is recruiting for teachers, teachers assistants, administrators, cafeteria workers and maintenance workers.

For more information, call the district’s main office at (601) 859-1152.

Workforce training bill heads to governor


Legislation to bolster Mississippi’s workforce is on the way to Gov. Phil Bryant’s desk.

The House passed Senate Bill 2808 on Tuesday. The bill creates the Mississippi Works Fund to provide highly focused workforce training for new and existing businesses.

This fund is an addition to the Workforce Enhancement Training Fund, which provides funding for existing businesses to train current personnel. The legislation allots $10 million for workforce training at community colleges for 2016, and $5 million each following year. Annual performance reports to the governor and the Legislature are required.

“We recently celebrated the largest, single-day job-creation and capital investment success in Mississippi’s history,” Bryant said. “To break the record set by Continental Tire and TopShip, we must maintain the best workforce in the nation. I am grateful to the House and the Senate for their commitment to doing that. I will quickly sign this legislation.”

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