Mental health becomes a community conversation

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Keynote speaker Dr. Patrick Wheat, at lecturn, speaks to a full house during “A Talk About Mental Health.”

Nathan Wilson | Reporter
The Natchitoches Events Center hosted “A Talk about Mental Health” May 31 to increase awareness of mental health concerns facing Natchitoches residents and ways to cope with them.

THIS ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE JUNE 9, 2022 PRINT EDITION.

The event covered topics ranging from youth social development to dementia with presentations by Natchitoches area mental health professionals including Natchitoches Regional Medical Center Director of Psychiatric Services, SueAnn Taylor; Natchitoches Central High School Counselor, Twanna Harris and Natchitoches Behavioral Health Center Psychiatry Specialist, Dr. Patrick Wheat as keynote speaker. Each presenter represented different facets of mental health services available in Natchitoches to reflect the unique needs of each member of the community.
Natchitoches’s youth were also represented at the event with local students Madison Raymond, Anna Catherine Coleman and Mason McCart offering remarks on the importance of mental health awareness among the area’s youth. The emphasis on participation by students of Natchitoches area schools reflects growing appreciation of the challenges children, teenagers and young adults face in navigating mental wellbeing.
The event also featured performances by students of Natchitoches Flipping Athletics(NFA) and the Dazzle Dance Center as entertainment.