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Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Billboard in Huntsville calls for mental health awareness

Credit: WAAY ABC Huntsville, AL
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Billboard in Huntsville calls for mental health awareness
Billboard in Huntsville calls for mental health awareness
Billboard in Huntsville calls for mental health awareness

, and tuscaloosa counties.

New at four -- a new billboard calling for mental health awareness was unveiled this morning.

This is only the first of 4 billboards that will be located across huntsville.

As you can see -- it also calls for justice for bradley pugh.

He was shot and killed during a standoff with police last year.

Waay31'salextorrez-perez joins us live now.

She has a look at what justice looks like for the pugh family.

Dan, the pugh family is looking to get the complete story of what happened during the standoff at five points last year.

They're calling to see the complete body camera footage to get those answers -- but they also want to fix the bigger issue.

Adina peyton "we can put a man on the moon in huntsville, al, but we can't resolve an issue like this."

Adina peyton is still mourning the loss of her son -- bradley pugh.

He was shot and killed last november after an hours long stand off with huntsville police.

Pugh's son "i miss him" huntsville police and the madison county district attorney's office justified the shooting saying pugh pointed a gun at officers.

However -- peyton says her son was suicidal and had a history of mental illness.

Peyton "mental illness is not a crime."

She's hoping pugh's death could lead to a bigger change.

Peyton "justice for brad is finding out the truth of what happened that night and using it to make a change, so that every mentally ill person in this town gets treatment or help.

Not instant tragedy."

The city of huntsville is currently working on a 911 co-response program.

There are 3 levels in that program right now -- we are operating at level 1 -- where officers receive training and certification to respond to mental health crises.

Huntsville police and the city is working to get to level 2 -- which will bring mental health providers to the scene to help.

Melissa knight was at the billboard unveiling this morning.

She used to work for a suicide prevention center.

She says bringing those mental health providers to the scene would help officers identify whether or not they're dealing with a mental health crisis.

Knight "they understand and have expertise on how to bring this person back down to a mental level where they can be dealt with."

Level 3 would add resources and crisis call centers to the area.

Wellstone mental health is already in the process of building a 2.1 million dollar mental health crisis center in huntsville.

It would add 39 beds for mental health patients in madison county.

However-- it's still unclear when it will open.

Peyton says she's hopeful this plan could help create the change that's needed.

Peyton "you can't have this happen soon enough because somebody else is going to have a psychotic break.

There are going to be a lot of suicidal people."

More details on that 911 co- response program will be revealed during the city council meeting next month.

The city administrator says he hopes to be in level 2 by the end of the year and level 3 by next year.

However-- that timeline may shift depending on other governing agencies.

Reporting live in hsv atp waay 31 news.