State Campaign Sparks Mental Health Dialogue in Port Arthur

With one in five Americans experiencing a mental health issue in his or her life, the Texas Department of State Health Services is helping community leaders in Port Arthur start a public dialogue about mental health. The Port Arthur Community Conversation is one of 16 happening around the state this fall and winter as part of the state’s Speak Your Mind Texas campaign designed to begin a discussion and counter misconceptions about mental health and substance abuse among teens and young adults.

The Speak Your Mind Texas campaign focuses on identifying mental health issues in young people and encouraging them to get help. Half of all mental illness cases start by age 14 and three-quarters begin by age 24. DSHS encourages anyone who works with young people at school, church or in the community to participate in the town hall-style conversation to learn to recognize mental health issues and find out about resources available for recovery.

People can RSVP at More than 2,000 people took part in the first round of community conversations earlier this year.

The event will be from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Thursday, Jan. 8, at Memorial High School, The Commons, 3051 Sgt. Lucien Adams Dr., Port Arthur.

Those in attendance will include:

  • Delores Price, Mayor of Port Arthur
  • Michael Shane Sinegal, Jefferson County Commissioner, Precinct 3
  • Dr. Mark Porterie, Superintendent, Port Arthur Independent School District
  • Dr. Charlie Harris, CEO, Spindletop Center
  • Raymond Turner, MA, LMSW-AP, Regional Manager of Specialized Health and Social Services, Region 6/5 South, Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Gladdie Fowler, Board President, Spindletop Center and Principal, Dick Dowling Elementary School
  • Randy Rich, Director of Children’s Services, Spindletop Center
  • Monica Spittler, Youth Substance Abuse Expert, Spindletop Center
  • Tina Simpson Perry, personal story

Speak Your Mind Texas campaign materials, including video, will be featured.