Wyoming County Marks Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Month

Photos and Story by Rick Hiduk

More than a dozen Wyoming County residents (top) who have benefited from services facilitated by Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services gathered at the Wyoming County Courthouse in Tunkhannock on Tuesday as the County Commissioners (above) proudly read a proclamation declaring March 2015 as Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Month. Chairman of the board David Wilson (seated, front left) accepted and Commissioner Tom Henry (standing, left) display the proposal.

The importance of providing Wyoming County residents with intellectual disabilities access to adequate programming that will enhance their participation in society as active members of the community. The County Commissioners marked Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Month at the beginning of their regular meeting on March 10, welcoming many old friends to the board room.

The commissioners have been consistent supporters of mental health services in Wyoming County, with Commissioner Tom Henry serving on the board of Luzerne-Wyoming County Mental Health and Developmental Services and fellow Commissioners Ron Williams and Judy Mead regularly attending social and celebratory events with MHDS clients and staff.

The regional MHDS began operating after Pennsylvania’s ratification of the Mental Health/Mental Retardation Act of 1966. In addition to tending to mental wellness, the agency’s resources are dedicated to ensuring the self-determination of clients to help them achieve the highest level of independence possible.

With the help of their families, friends, and support staff, they are able to participate in everyday activities,” Commissioner Tom Henry read aloud.“ Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Month, he continued, is a celebration “designed to raise awareness about mental health in the community and to show appreciation for all of the dedicated individuals who assist people with an intellectual disability.”

The Wyoming County Commissioners strongly supports people with intellectual disabilities and encourages the community to join in assuring that the luxury of an everyday life can be an experience for all citizens to enjoy.”

For more information on the services facilitated in Luzerne and Wyoming County, interested readers can log on to www.mhdslw.org.

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