Police, NWTC hold a conversation about mental health

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The topic of mental health seems to have gone hand-in-hand with discussions about guns in the wake of recent shootings, especially the Parkland, Florida, school shooting.

Photo: U.S. Air Force

The school superintendent in Parkland said Nikolas Cruz attended a school with programs for emotional and disabled students, but Cruz chose to stop receiving mental health services when he turned 18.

Tuesday afternoon, Green Bay Police and counselors had a conversation with NWTC staff, faculty and students about breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health.

"How mental illness impacts our community, impacts the nation, and what we can do about that," Judy Roemer, a licensed professional counselor, said.

Experts say it's a pervasive issue in this country, with the National Alliance on Mental Health estimating 1 in 5 adults experiences some form of mental illness or disability.

Counselors say they want to make it clear a mental illness does not mean someone is violent.

"Events like what happened in Florida, there's a lot of spotlight on violence and aggression. But people who struggle with mental illness are not generally violent. Most people who struggle with those issues do not have the issues with saw in Parkland," Roemer said.

"It's a community approach to solve this and get everybody the resources that they need," Capt. Kevin Warych, Green Bay Police Department, said.

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