Free behavioral health event in Phoenix

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Maricopa County and the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County will host a Behavioral Health Expo on May 6 in Phoenix at Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church.

The Expo is designed to bridge the gap between those in need of services in the community and the variety of service providers across the Valley, particularly the needs of diverse communities.

Sponsored by Valleywise Behavioral Health, the expo is a free event featuring displays and information from diverse community partners and featured speakers on topics like the 988 mental health crisis hotline and MercyCare support. The event is May 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Presiding Judge Joseph C. Welty and Dr. Carol Olson, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Valleywise Health joined Arizona Horizon to discuss the upcoming Behavioral Health Expo.

“I think in general the community is often not very well informed about how to get behavioral services for say family members or even themselves who are having a difficulty with their mental health,” Dr. Olson said. “If they have a family member that is going through some difficult times and they’re not so sure where to turn for help, this would be a setting where they could find out how to do that.”

The Expo is also held to focus on mental health justice. Welty explains that the term refers to individuals with behavioral health issues who are involved in the justice system.

“We are focused on concepts of public safety,” Judge Welty said. “What we’ve found through a task force that we’ve put together is that if we can help the community have greater awareness of behavioral health treatment, then folks are more likely to receive treatment, they are more likely to avoid behavioral health episodes, which result in [less] involvement in the criminal justice system.”

Joseph C. Welty, Maricopa County Presiding Judge; Dr. Carol Olson, Chair of Dept. of Psychiatry at Valleywise Health

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