HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — In the wake of a deadly shooting massacre at a Texas elementary school, officials in North Alabama are highlighting local mental health services.
In a statement released on Thursday, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office acknowledged several local services for those in need of mental health help.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Huntsville Helpline: 256-534-2628
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK, 800-SUICIDE
- Wellstone Access to Care Line: 256-705-6444
- Unity Psychiatric Care: 256-964-6700
“If you know of someone or a family member who is in a mental health crisis or suffering from long term mental health issues there are a number of organizations that can be of assistance,” said Brent Patterson, a spokesperson for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. “The Madison County Sheriff’s Office work cohesively with Wellstone Behavioral Health and Judge Frank Barger, the Madison County Probate Office, to offer assistance to those in need.”
The sheriff’s office also told News 19 it would conduct monthly safety drills in schools, in coordination with the Madison County Board of Education.
Decatur Police also highlighted several local mental health authorities in the area.
“We are fortunate to be in an area of Alabama with several options for counseling services,” said Irene Cardenas-Martinez, a spokesperson for Decatur Police. “It’s important to ‘shop around’ for a counselor that you connect with and feel comfortable with to engage in treatment.”
Decatur’s mental health resources include:
- Mental Health Center of North Central Alabama: Locations in Decatur, Athens, and Moulton. Call 256-355-5904.
- Eagle Consulting: Locations in Decatur, Huntsville, and Cullman. Call 256-341-0811.
- Family Support Services: Locations in Decatur, Huntsville, Cullman, and Blountsville. Call 256-340-9233.
Decatur Police say if there’s immediate safety concerns, call 911. Officers in their department also have access to a mental health liaison, Kate Anderson, and are trained to handle crises and emergencies.
Huntsville Police also cited Crisis Services of North Alabama as a good resource, in addition to Wellstone and NAMI mentioned by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
At least 19 children and two teachers were killed Tuesday in the devastating shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. 17 others were wounded. The shooter, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, shot and wounded his grandmother earlier that day before moving to the small school of mostly Hispanic students.
Ramos was eventually shot and killed by law enforcement officials who responded to the scene.
The massacre at Robb Elementary School is the third-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Only the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 and the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 were more deadly.