Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

September 27, 2013

Program empowers survivors of mental illness to share their stories, educate others

JACKSONVILLE — About two dozen people sat on the edge of their seats Thursday morning, listening with rapt attention as three local women told their stories, one by one.

The stories were what the morning was all about: the stories and the graduation of the participants of the "Respect Institute," a program hosted by the East Texas Coalition for Mental Health Recovery.

The three-day Institute program, held at the Jacksonville Public Library, "is a good way to present our life lessons to the world," said Jim Lemmon, director of the Coalition.

"When I get finished with the Respect Institute I feel wide open," he acknowledged.

The Institute was founded by Missourian Joel Slack, who led the seminar.

Slack himself suffered from a mental health issue and discovered, through his healing and his work, that the most compelling way to teach others about mental illness was to hear it from the people who experienced it themselves.

"People with mental illness never get to sit down and tell their own story; there's always someone else trying to tell it for them," he said.

"It's educational to listen and healing to those who do get to share their stories," he continued. "You see a glimpse into the humanity of that person."

During the hour long graduation ceremony, three local woman shared their stories of experiences with mental illness.

Tracy dubbed her tale, "Tie a Knot and Hang On." Denise's was "I Just Wanted To Be Loved," and Charlie spoke about her experiences with her husband's mental illness.

"There is a long history of the healing effect of storytelling," Lemmon said. "That's what we're here to share today."

After they complete the program, participants are urged to go out and share their stories about struggles with mental health with police, nursing students, social work students, drug and alcohol counselors, licensed clinical social workers and others.

Approximately 12 area residents graduated from the program yesterday. They received a certificate of completion an an appointment book for scheduling their future speaking engagements.

Text Only
Local News
  • Christian Rapper 0419.tif Local rap artist spreads the 411 on Jesus

    "I have seen things in my life that would make Dr. Phil crazy," Jacksonville native, ordained minister and aspiring rap artist Stephen I. Crow Jr. said with a laugh. "That's why I don't label my music specifically as "Christian rap" -- yes, Christians who love rap can listen and hopefully be uplifted, but I truly want and am trying to bring the word and Jesus' message to people who may never have heard it or don't believe it's for them.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tomato Bowl flushed to bottom of priorities

    The historic Tomato Bowl, built in 1940, stands strong on the outside, but according to some people the inside needs a lot of work in order to not be an eyesore.

    April 19, 2014

  • Cherokee County arrest: April 8-14

    The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.

    April 19, 2014

  • Jacksonville College, high schools team up to offer dual credit program

    Jacksonville College is currently offering qualifying high school juniors and seniors attending Jacksonville and New Summerfield ISDs and The Brookhill School in Bullard the opportunity to get head start on their higher education.

    April 18, 2014

  • JISD board members to consider district strategic plan

    The Jacksonville ISD Board of Trustees will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, to discuss a district strategic plan and consider buying new band uniforms.

    April 18, 2014

  • 2 men arrested after standoff in grocery store

    Two men were arrested early Wednesday morning after a standoff at the B&B Foods in Alto.
    According to Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson, a person reported seeing two black males at the store just before 3 a.m. Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Some area entities closed for holiday

    Many area offices and businesses will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday and Easter.

    April 17, 2014

  • Dispatcher Enge 0416.tif JPD dispatcher killed in wreck

    A dispatcher for the Jacksonville Police Department was killed Monday on her way to work, according to officials.
    Amber Enge, 35, of Whitehouse was pronounced dead at the scene of a one-vehicle wreck Monday afternoon on CR 2177 in Whitehouse.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • CR speed limit changes, E-filling fee top agenda

    On Monday, Cherokee County commissioners set April 28 to hold public hearings concerning the changing speed limits on two county roads.

    April 16, 2014

  • Catherine look.tif Religious lines drawn: Protesters met by members of Church of Wells

    Other than a few community members' voices that rose above the crowd, the protest Saturday against the Church of Wells remained peaceful.

    April 15, 2014 3 Photos