MACON, Ga. — Macon Mental Health Matters is the name of a new initiative focused on improving mental health across seven neighborhoods in Macon-Bibb County.
After a 16-year-old was shot in killed in Macon on Wednesday, 13MWAZ learned this is one-way Macon-Bibb County Mayor Lester Miller is dealing with crime.
For more than three decades, Charlie West has called Pleasant Hill home.
"Right along here, it is very quiet," West said.
Though things are quiet, West says the crime he sees in Macon-Bacon County is sometimes alarming.
"The young folks need to stop all of that," West said.
The new initiative is aimed at taking a fresh approach in ending crime.
"Just like physical health is important, mental health is important," Licensed Professional Counselor Gloria Cisse said.
Cisse, with the Southern Center for Choice Theory, is heading up the program.
The seven locations will be: Booker T. Washington Community Center, Hispanic Community Center, Cherokee Heights/Bartlett Crossing, Rosa Jackson Center, Gilead on Rock Creek, Brookdale Warming Center and one near Bruce Elementary.
"We're going to do a needs assessment, we are going to do focus groups, and spend some time talking to the people in those communities to get their input, their feedback on what they believe would be beneficial for them," Cisse said.
Bibb County leaders say these services will help with things like conflict resolution, so people think twice before committing a crime. Cisse says therapy and more will help out.
"We will have pop-up mental health activities, we are going to have drum-circles, we will have parenting (classes), we are going to have a lot of different activities in each community," Cisse said.
Cisse says she wants people to learn the end goal is that violence should not be the solution for conflict that arises.
The initiative is expected to run one year, and cost $600,000. It's being paid for using CARES Act grant funding, according to the resolution.