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Making Mental Health Care More Accessible to - and Accepted by - Those Most in Need

Tom Flanigan

Health fairs are fairly common happenings. But a first-of-its kind event at the North Florida Fairgrounds the evening of Tuesday, May 29 focused exclusively on mental health care.

Among the nearly 20 providers was the new South Side CarePoint center. Its Clinic Director Pattie Ballentine said they work with the region's primary mental health organization.

"We are extremely happy to have the Apalachee Center as one of our collaborating partners and they have space in our facility so they can take care of their patients Mondays through Fridays from 8 to 5," she said.

But Freddie Rouse with Living Stones International said some of the people most in need of mental health care lock themselves away from the help they need.

"That's what we need to do more of," he explained. "Get these parents out of the home where they're stuck and isolated in their own world, not understanding that there are a lot of resources out here that can make their lives better."

Tuesday evening's "Be Kind to Your Mind" event was the first collaborative campaign by the area's mental health providers to reach those prospective patients.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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