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Faith and Community Leaders: Expanding Dialogue Around Mental Health Issues and Incarceration

Community leaders gathered yesterday and discussed how clergy can support citizens’ regional mental health issues through faith-based outreach. The meeting brought together regional clergy, mental health professionals, elected officials, law enforcement, hospital administrators, educators and citizens toward greater understanding of citizens’ mental health needs. The meeting was facilitated by Dr. Monteic A. Sizer, Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (NE Delta HSA) Executive Director and by a Monroe community leader who supports improving regional mental health outcomes and reducing incarceration of citizens who have a behavioral health or addictive disorder. The meeting was conducted at First United Methodist Church on Loop Road in Monroe.

Dr. Sizer’s comments focused on the importance of working together across race, class, political beliefs and diverse faiths to establish priorities and help solve problems that citizens in our region face around mental health and also incarceration of those with mental health challenges.

“We must prioritize and identify problems, collaborate to best use the resources we have, and then execute solutions to help meet citizens’ needs,” said Dr. Sizer. “Faith-based organizations already serve a critical function within our communities,” he said. “Recognizing mental health issues among colleagues and within congregations, and then knowing how to refer citizens to the appropriate resource provides another valuable function to help those who struggle.”

“A mental health or addictive disorder issue doesn’t only affect the one individual who is suffering,” said Sizer. “These struggles can have a negative ripple effect on the family, the congregation, the community at large, our region and beyond.” Sizer said that each Faith-Based Mental Health outreach meeting helps faith-based and other community leaders understand these issues.

NE Delta HSA welcomes collaboration and engagement with community leaders who want to find solutions to problems that our citizens face in their daily lives. “We will continue to help catalyze action among the entities that provide human services in our region,” said Sizer. “We will accomplish more as we work together on behalf of our citizens.”

Click here to see photos from the Summit of the NE Delta HSA Facebook page.

The next NE Delta HSA Faith-Based Mental Health Summit is scheduled for Saturday, November 12th at Macedonia Baptist Church at 2602 Washington Street in Monroe. Clergy, healthcare leadership, law enforcement, students and community members are encouraged to attend.

NE Delta HSA does not promote or endorse religion, nor does it promote any particular religious viewpoint.

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About Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (Northeast Delta HSA )

Northeast Delta HSA directs the operation of community-based programs to improve the quality of life of people with major mental illness, developmental disabilities and addictive disorders. Northeast Delta HSA is devoted to deliver programs and services that encourage people to reach their true human potential.

Three tenets guide our efforts: excellent customer service, greater access to services and competent, quality care. Northeast Delta HSA serves citizens in 12 parishes of northeastern Louisiana: Caldwell, East Carroll, West Carroll, Ouachita, Lincoln, Madison, Franklin, Morehouse, Jackson, Tensas, Richland and Union. For more information, please visit our website at www.nedeltahsa.org or call 318-362-3270.

Media Contact:
Jill Hirsekorn
Northeast Delta HSA Public Information Director
2513 Ferrand Street, Monroe, LA 71201
Phone 318-362-5482
NE Delta HAS Press & Media
https://www.nedeltahsa.org/
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Picture of Dr. Monteic A. Sizer
Dr. Monteic A. Sizer

Dr. Monteic A. Sizer serves as Executive Director of Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (Northeast Delta HSA). He joined the organization in May 2013 as its first Executive Director. He is uniquely qualified to advocate on behalf of citizens located in the twelve Northeast Delta HSA parishes he represents because he exemplifies how people can meet their greatest human potential based on accountability, integrity and a willingness to engage in their own lives.

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