From Edgewater Pro Tem Mayor Cory Reid-Vanas:
I am writing to share information about a project that City Council, City staff and a few community members are working on. The working title is Edgewater’s Mental Health Plan, and the statement below gives some idea of what we seek to accomplish. This statement was written for a needs assessment and will guide us in writing the mental health plan, which will include specific goals and actions to take to positively impact our community.
City Council will share the mental health plan with the community as it develops (estimated by the end of 2022) and seek feedback to inform the final version. If you are interested in participating in this effort, please contact me at [email protected] or Dr. Libbi Palmer at [email protected] Specifically, we are looking for someone who has lived experience with mental health and is interested in advocacy work to ensure diverse voices are represented in Edgewater’s mental health plan.
The current task force includes City Council Member Lilly Steirer, Dr. Libbi Palmer of Palmer and Associates, Community Member Kevin Meyer, Police Chief Eric Sonstegard, City Manager Dan Maples and Mayor Pro Tem Cory Reid-Vanas.
Statement of needs:
Edgewater Town Council believes that our community will benefit from an intentional effort to develop a holistic and strategic plan related to mental health. Our desire to increase and improve mental health resources within our community is a direct response to social injustices that have occurred locally and nationally, the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase in suicide and violence domestic, a collective prioritization of mental health, and recognizing that to thrive individually and as a community, we all need mental health resources.
Edgewater’s mental health needs exist in many different ways. Specifically, City Council would like to see mental health resources strengthened at the organizational and community levels. For example, organizationally, Edgewater is committed to supporting our police service’s efforts to provide community safety services through a mental health lens that addresses complex situations with mental health sensitivity. Additionally, providing trauma-informed support to police officers, victims and community members affected by crime or tragedy is one of our priorities. At a broader community level, city staff are trained to understand mental health to ensure that city services are responsive to the mental health needs of our community, whether through events sponsored by city, city communication or our mobility and sustainability initiatives. Opportunities to provide mental health-specific resources will be welcome as we begin to develop a roadmap that meets the unique needs of our community.
Although the working title of the plan emphasizes mental health, there will be a broader effort to include crisis response and wellbeing. Thank you for taking the time to read this work, and again if you are interested in participating or learning more please contact us and we will make sure to keep in touch with you.
Cory Reid – Vanas