Jefferson County is participating in the national Stepping Up Day of Action on May 16 to highlight its progress toward reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in the county jail and improving outcomes for those residents.
Jefferson County?s Stepping Up Day of Action activities include on online social media campaign ?stepping UP for #betterdays? designed to reduce the stigma of mental illness and how to cope more effectively with individual symptoms. Other activities include a Mood and Food workshop, a Wellness and Recovery Action Plan seminar, an information table at Hy-Vee and the Fairfield Park and Recreation Department opening the indoor gym for walkers.
Stepping Up is a national initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. Led by the National Association of Counties, the American Psychiatric Association Foundation and The Council of State Governments Justice Center, Stepping Up provides counties with a framework and tools for creating a collaborative, systemwide plan to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in the county jail in ways that not only improve public safety, but promote positive outcomes for individuals with mental illnesses, their families and their communities.
More than 415 counties across the country have passed a resolution or proclamation to join Stepping Up.
?Jefferson County joined Stepping Up to show its commitment to working collaboratively across systems to change the way law enforcement and other county agencies respond to people experiencing mental health crises,? said Rochelle Phelps, Community Connections coordinator.
The Community Connections program is administered through Optimae Behavioral Health, which is organizing this year?s activities.
Jefferson County joins its peers from across the country that are participating in the national Stepping Up Day of Action to share progress in the county and raise public awareness of the issues facing individuals with mental illnesses, particularly those who are involved in or at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system.
More information on the national Stepping Up initiative is available at www.StepUpTogether.org or Jefferson County?s online social media campaign at Steppingupforbetterdays on Facebook.