Touchette Regional Hospital has announced its dedication to working with local churches to prepare and identify safety threats to their congregation 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.
On April 27, Touchette wrapped up its series of three scheduled trainings in an effort to raise mental health awareness and gun violence preparedness. Part mental health awareness training and part safety planning for churches, these training sessions will prepare the public through a two-part training session to not only help them raise mental health awareness but to also mediate a crisis should one happen on church grounds.
“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. “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 8th highest state in the U.S. facing gun violence. A FOID permit is required to carry a gun in Illinois while Missouri requires nothing.
Two more crisis trainings will be held in April followed by on-site church evaluations for any congregations requesting further planning.
About Touchette Regional Hospital
Touchette Regional Hospital has proudly served the communities of the Metro-East for more than 60 years. TRH offers high-quality Cardiopulmonary, Laboratory, Radiology, Southern Illinois Home Care, Physician Specialty Services, Pharmacy, Transportation, Physical Therapy, Senior Care Services, Community Health Connections, Start Now Cancer Awareness Program, Obstetrical Services, 24-hour Emergency Department, New Vision/Substance Abuse Program, Special Needs Dentistry for children, Behavioral Health (inpatient and outpatient), Medical/Surgical/Telemetry, Intensive Care and Surgical Services (inpatient and outpatient). For more information, visit www.touchette.org.