Mental Health Local Advisory Committee

Meetings Are Held On The Fourth Thursday @ 1 p.m.

in RCHD Conference Rm. 202


The Mental Health Local Advisory Committee (LAC) was established in 2003. In 2007 the LAC was included in the Communities In Action (CIA) Community Building Process. Following the community assessment and first “State of the Community”- Countywide Conference in 2008, mental health was identified as a strategic issue. LAC was designated to help address this issue as it was already under their purview.


Engaging the community in addressing mental/behavioral issues in Richland County and acting as a liaison between the communities and the state agencies. LAC accomplishes this purpose by identifying needs and implementing strategies to meet the needs related to Metnal and Behavioral Health. Additionally, the report concerns and activities to the Eastern Service Area Authority and state agencies.

2019-2021 Strategies:

1. Create sustainable support groups in four specific focus areas by December 31, 2019.

2. Establish regular Mental Health First Aid and QPR training opportunities.

3. Implement "emotional wellness campaign" into Richland County by providing 4 educational and awareness events each year.

4. Identify gaps and needs and implement policies in at least 4 areas of life transitions that actively support emotional wellness by December 31, 2020.

Support Groups and Training Opportunities

Contact Audrey Rydbom at for more information.

Support Groups: 

Anxiety/Depression Support Group: 1st and 3rd Monday of each moth at 7 p.m. at Pella Lutheran Church in Sidney. All are welcome. Contact Audrey Rydbom at for more information.

Chronic Disease Management Lunch and Learns are offered at various times throughout the year. Contact Ashley Vandebossche for more information

Members of the Community trained in QPR, Adult Mental Health First Aid, and Youth Mental Health First Aid

Training Opportunities:

Mental Health First Aid: Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues. Must be 18 years or older to participate. $25 per participant with scholarships available. Contact Jessica Gilbert at for more information about upcoming training opportunities.

Question, Persuade, Refer: Three steps anyone can learn to prevent a suicide. Must be 12 years or older. Contact Josie Evenson at for more information and upcoming trainings.  

Past Projects 

The Emotional Wellness campaign was implemented in 2019 by the LAC in response to a lack of awareness and understanding of emotional wellness factors in Richland County.  The concept of the Emotional Wellness Campaign is to provide a safe platform for people to discuss emotional stressors and coping mechanisms. Four events held to inspire these discussions during 2019 include: The Healthy Kids Expo (June), Movie in the Park (July), Every Brilliant Thing performance (July) and Richland County Health Department's Fair Booth (August.)

LAC is Awarded the ASPIRE Award

The Richland County Health Department received an award in 2018 supporting its Connecting Resources for Emotional Wellness (CREW) subcommittee of LAC. 

The ASPIRE, Achieving the Social Determinants of Health Population Improvement in Rural Environments. The goal of the ASPIRE award is to recognize excellence in rural communities that are committed to addressing the social determinants of health.

How Can I Get Involved? 

There are many way you can be involved in our mission: 

1. Attend Mental Health LAC Meetings. They are held on the fourth Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. in the Community Services Building Rm. 202.

2. Become trained in Mental Health First Aid or QPR.

3. Become a Mental Health First Aid or QPR Trainer.


Apps and Websites 

For more information, or to get involved, please contact Brittney Petersen at