CENTREVILLE — Touchette Regional Hospital on Friday wrapped up a series of three training sessions to help local churches understand issues surrounding mental health and gun violence.
The effort is part of a continuing campaign to prepare and identify safety threats to congregations before they happen. The hospital has hosted a series of training classes with many area churches in partnership with the Illinois State Police. This comes at a time when gun violence is a leading talking point in conversations across the country.
“Many of us grew up in this area, live here now, and want our communities to remain safe. To bolster this safety, the staff at Touchette are dedicated to providing integrated healthcare services to our communities,” said Sulbrena Day, chief operating officer at Touchette Regional Hospital (shown). “This includes mental health; individuals dealing with mental illness need and deserve a level of care Touchette excels at. Our hospital offers Behavioral Health and Wellness services from experienced therapists, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychiatric pharmacologists. If a person is feeling overwhelmed with life, we want to help them before it becomes a crisis. We want them to know help is available right here at Touchette.”
The state of Illinois ranks in the top 10 for having some of the strongest gun laws in the country. However, just a few miles away, Missouri tells a different story; ranking in the top 10 states with the worst gun death rates. Last month, USA TODAY reported firearm violence statistics confirmed from 2016. In Illinois, nearly 436 deaths per 100,000 were related to a violent gun crime making it the 16th highest state in the U.S. Missouri’s numbers are worse with nearly 519 deaths per 100,000 making it the eighth highest state in the U.S. facing gun violence. A FOID permit is required to carry a gun in Illinois while Missouri requires nothing.
Additional on-site crisis trainings will be held for any congregations requesting further planning, the hospital said.