Mesquite, TX - January 26, 2021 – Today, the Mesquite Police Association and the Mesquite Firefighters Association-Local 1518 teamed up to donate $1,000 towards the Mesquite NAACP’s Mental Health Scholarship Fund that offers funding to students in the Mesquite Independent School District who want to pursue a degree towards a mental health profession.
Mesquite Mayor Bruce Archer said, “We are so happy to take this next step as one part of the City of Mesquite’s comprehensive plan to address the mental health concerns in our community. Mental health is and continues to be a major issue in communities across the country. The ongoing pandemic has added to the problem. It is a blessing to provide scholarships to local students who want to someday be mental health professionals, and perhaps return to Mesquite to aid us in our efforts on this issue.”
Mesquite Police Association Vice President Richard Andersen and Mesquite Firefighters Association-Local 1518 President Phil Cunningham presented the donation to Mesquite NAACP President Henry Brown during a ceremony in the office of Mayor Archer. Mr. Brown was joined by Mesquite NAACP board members Hosea Fain and Lloyd Jones.
Mayor Archer shared that the City’s comprehensive plan continues to be developed and will include training for public safety responders handling calls for service involving a mental health issue and the addition of staff with expertise in mental health. He also indicated the City plans to continue working with community partners to ensure a multifaceted approach is in place when responding to calls for service that require a mental health professional.
Dallas Regional Medical Center represented by Chief Executive Officer Glenda Matchett donated in September to support the new scholarship initiative for students, followed by a contribution in November from the USA-Nepal Community Outreach Network led by local physician Vishnu Upadhyay. In October, the City announced it would begin offering its residents access to free mental health counseling and referral services through a new partnership with the AZAR Foundation in which residents can call 833-298-9111 to schedule a virtual or in-person session for individuals, couples and groups.
Mayor Archer explained, “All through America, in every city and in every state, we see the great challenges that mental health can bring to every community with the lack of support, help and treatment. Here in Mesquite we take it very seriously. Our City Council is committed to doing more and more to help with the various issues that make-up the mental health crisis.”