Pasco Sheriff beefs up mental health services

Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco is ramping up efforts to address mental health issues, in his agency’s daily work. The sheriff explained his team’s approach to those attending the September breakfast meeting of The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce. Nocco said mental health issues are expanding in a way that affects public safety, during remarks to dozens of chamber members at the Golden … [Read more...]

Symposium seeks addiction recovery solutions

A symposium is scheduled for later this month that will seek to create a blueprint for improving long-term substance abuse recovery efforts in Pasco County. The Recover Out Loud Pasco Symposium is set for Sept. 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Calvary Chapel Worship Center, 6825 Trouble Creek Road in New Port Richey. Admission is free. The symposium is being organized by Recovery Epicenter … [Read more...]

Pasco Sheriff launches unit to help mentally ill

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is launching a new unit aimed to better serve the needs of people facing significant mental health issues. The new unit — called the Mental Health and Threat Assessment Team (MHTAT) — will feature six deputies, two caseworkers, a clinical social worker, a sergeant and a lieutenant, who will collaborate with local behavioral health providers to provide tailored, … [Read more...]

Can human connection heal?

Austin Eubanks remembered with clarity the tragic day that forever changed his life, and, ultimately claimed it. His best friend was killed instantly in front of him. Then Eubanks was shot twice, in the hand and knee. Eubanks was just 17 years old when he experienced and survived the massacre inside the library of Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. “I remember seeing my hand … [Read more...]

A home welcomes Zephyrhills’ impoverished

There’s an open-door policy to whomever walks in the Samaritan Project of Zephyrhills Inc., with economic struggles weighing them down. The organization has become a fixture in Zephyrhills to combat the continuing cycle of homelessness. Established in 2008, the agency was in response to those already living on the streets, or on the verge. Roxxy Geisenheimer is the executive director … [Read more...]

Seminars aim to empower Pasco women

The first of a three-part series aimed to advance the interests of Pasco County women took place on March 4 at the Land O’ Lakes Branch Library, on Collier Parkway. All of the meetings, being presented by the Pasco County Commission on the Status of Women and the Pasco County Commission, are being held at the library, and are free and open to the public. The theme of the first part of the … [Read more...]

Pasco Schools seeks to address students’ mental health needs

Pasco County Schools is searching for additional ways to better serve its students’ mental health needs. As part of that effort, the school system brought together student services staff and community mental health providers on May 4 for the district’s first-ever Mental Health Symposium. The seminar’s aim was to raise awareness of students’ mental health, build capacity of staff to respond, and … [Read more...]

Shedding light on depression, mental illness

Tracy Daniels knows what it’s like to battle mental health issues. A retired combat war veteran, Daniels spent seven years in therapy following his second tour in Iraq. Following a 37-year military career, Daniels now seeks to help others who are dealing with mental health issues. Daniels is a master-level practitioner at Baycare Behavioral Health. He was the featured speaker at a … [Read more...]

Human trafficking happens everywhere, including Pasco County

Elected officials, law enforcement and other stakeholders in Pasco County have teamed up this month to shed light on the growing issue of human trafficking. The problem was at the forefront of a Jan. 5 press conference that featured Pasco County District 1 commissioner Ron Oakley, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, State Rep. Danny Burgess, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco and others. “We’re not afraid to … [Read more...]

New mindset needed in substance abuse battle, speakers say

A shift in attitudes could go a long way toward reducing impacts from substance abuse, speakers said at the sixth annual Substance Abuse Prevention Conference held in Wesley Chapel. Stigma is a huge issue, they said. Until that changes, fewer people will seek treatment, and employment and housing challenges will remain for those in recovery from substance addictions, they explained. A … [Read more...]