Dear Fellow Vermilion County Stakeholders,
In this time of senseless tragedy when we are all trying to determine what we can do for the families in Newtown, Conn., as well as our own community, the Vermilion County Mental Health Board wants you all to know we are trying to respond by taking a lesson from this situation and by taking steps to make sure our children and those who have committed their lives to tending to them are safe and secure.
We feel confident in our school and community leaders, knowing that safety is their first concern, and we know they have been reviewing local preparedness, practices and responses.
We, as community members and stakeholders, also must take this time to evaluate our systems, responses, and readiness and to make sure that we are able to keep our children safe and to offer our troubled children every resource to keep them and the people around them safe.
During the years, in light of situations such as these and in response to the growing social and emotional distress of some of our vulnerable children, we have met and we have developed and proposed solutions. Many of these responses have endured and have probably saved lives, but many have gone by the wayside due to funding losses, unsuccessful grants applications, or personnel changes which have thwarted good intentions. There have been several attempts to bring stakeholders together to discuss Safe Schools/
Healthy Students federal grant applications only to find out that the federal money was not appropriated, and therefore, good intentions and good plans had to be set aside.
The Vermilion County Mental Health Board wants something positive to come from this recent tragedy by asking all who are in any position of authority and for any stakeholders who want to contribute to come together to offer suggestions, lend leadership and bring expertise, past knowledge and common sense to the table.
We need to feel confident that our children are safe in their homes, schools and community activities and that children and adults who may be experiencing anger, confusion, and despair are able to access the support and help they need. We also need to be prepared, God forbid that anything of this nature happens again, to respond to a local tragedy in terms of offering support and counseling.
The Vermilion County Mental Health Board will be hosting a countywide town hall meeting after the first of the year to discuss our vulnerabilities and to brainstorm solutions. We hope you will all be thinking of how you personally and/or your agency, church, school, or organization might contribute to making our county a safer, more organized and secure place to live and grow.
Please try to have a safe and happy holiday season and know that in the New Year we have work to do.
Dee Ann Ryan
Vermilion County Mental Health Board
Dear Fellow Vermilion County Stakeholders,
- Letters to the Editor
- Help homeless veterans Editor: I recently read an article about homeless veterans. I remember when Danville Area Community College and Department of Veterans Affairs' campuses was a soldiers' home. There were no homeless veterans then. The veterans who lived there mowed th
- Help CASA help children Help CASA help children To most of us, society's problems such as poverty, abuse and violence seem overwhelming. What can we do to end these cycles that trap generations of people? We are tempted to turn away because it feels like trying to stop a wi
- Give instead of take Editor: I hear a lot of black churches talking about things in the name of Jesus Christ, but I don't see them giving in the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus was not about money. With some of these pastors, give them 30 pieces of silver and they will sell
- Give Obama credit Give Obama credit Editor: The idea of everyone respecting you from a positive position is not possible. As for President Obama, if he raises a hand to help the poor they call him either a socialist or a racist in so much as they equate poor to being
- Calling wrong right Calling wrong right Editor: On Nov. 21, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn not only signed a bill legalizing homosexual marriage, but he stated that it was his unfinished business to help other states achieve that goal. I am not surprised he signed the bill at
- Down memory lane Down memory lane Editor: The recent article on Germantown took me down memory lane. My husband and I were married in 1946 and bought a house on Norman Street in Germantown. Everything that was written about came back to me -- several stores, t
- Hearts & darts Here are some of the good things readers noticed around the area recently: Kelly Truex, principal at Danville's Garfield Elementary School, sends hearts "to Walmart for its generous donation. All students at Garfield will benefit from the extra suppl
- Down memory lane Down memory lane Editor: The recent article on Germantown took me down memory lane. My husband and I were married in 1946 and bought a house on Norman Street in Germantown. Everything that was written about came back to me -- several stores, the fire
- Hearts & darts Here are some of the good things readers noticed around the area recently: Board members of Habitat for Humanity of Danville send hearts "to Kem Wiggins for the mural she painted in the service of helping to restore the city-donated firehouse to its
- Submit Your Letter!
- More Letters to the Editor Headlines