“Night Out Against Crime” addresses mental health

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DUNCANSVILLE, BLAIR COUNTY, PA (WTAJ) — Hundreds came out to Duncanville on Tuesday evening to bring awareness to neighborhood crime. Blair County’s 37th annual “Night Out Against Crime” was filled with advocates looking to eliminate those issues before they happen.

Drug addiction and crime have spiked since the pandemic hit Pennsylvania. Vendors say there are ways of avoiding this … And it starts with mental health.

Brandi Lucas with White Deer Run Treatment Network says “stress factors are up, heightened awareness is up right now and we’re not living in a normal world that we were a couple of months ago. That’s taking a toll on everybody as well…You’re not alone and there are other people out there that are dealing with the same things that you’re dealing with.” Lucas says the pandemic has caused stress in many communities.

Blair county’s Sheriff James Ott says lately mental health issues are turning into crime. He says “So we reach out to that person. We try to give them a hand. Sometimes prison is a hand, sometimes rehabilitation is a hand.” He adds that “those same people can be role models in our community and at some point become a leader in the community to help others and try to pull them out of the low decisions or the choices that they’re making.”

Representatives say if you notice someone close to you having a tough time dealing things like deression,stress or anxiety, the best thing to do is call one of many local resources. If they can’t help, they’ll direct you to someone who can.

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