Oldham County leaders working to bolster mental health resources for residents

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Community leaders in Oldham County are working together to strengthen the county’s mental health. Officials met to discuss the matter on Wednesday.

Attendees included La Grange Mayor John Black, Executive Judge Dave Voegele and Chief Health Officer Matt Rhodes, along with members of law enforcement and a number of health care workers.

Every three years, the Oldham County Health Department conducts a needs assessment. This year, mental health tops the list.

A long discussion on Wednesday revolved around creating a centralized directory of resources and some sort of awareness campaign for those resources.

Jean Schupp started the non-profit Operation Parent 15 years ago to help parents keep up to date with what’s available for their children.

“I think it’s great,” Schupp said. “It’s an ongoing problem that every community faces.”

Just a week away from the start of the school year in County Oldham, school board member Andrea Neikirk was also in attendance.

Neikirk said it’s important for students to know what’s available to them and what they still need.

Currently, the district has six dedicated mental health specialists, but Neikirk said there will never be enough.

“They work well,” she said. “They are overworked though.”

The resource directory that could be created would go beyond mental health.

This may include financial assistance, temporary shelter and other medical assistance. This is only the first step.

“It’s one thing to get compiled resources in a central location,” Schupp said. “It’s a whole other job to market it.”

The Oldham County Health Department is holding a separate meeting on September 28 to continue assessing its needs.

Mental health will again be the topic of discussion.

WAVE – NBC affiliate of Louisville and southern Indiana. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @wave3news.(VAGUE)

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