Diversion Services Director spreads mental health awareness signs around Fairbury

FAIRBURY, NE — Mental health matters in southeast Nebraska.

That’s the message Jefferson County Diversion Services Director Peggy Galloway is promoting. She says monitoring mental health right now is more important than ever.

“There’s just a lot of people that are really stressed and the stress from the adults filters down to the kids," Galloway said. "As if being a kid isn’t hard enough, add COVID… and you’ve got a lot of people that are really stressed.”

Galloway partnered with the Lincoln non-profit Wellbeing Initiative to place dozens of yard signs and flyers around Fairbury for Mental Health Awareness Month. The signs feature a QR code linking to the Wellbeing Initiative website. From there, people can find resources to get help.

“Because it is kind of a maze sometimes if you don’t know where to reach out," Galloway said. "If you’re in a very stressed situation yourself, it’s even harder to find the places that you need to get to.”

The signs are just the beginning of what Galloway hopes will become a full-scale public relations campaign. She is working with a graphic artist and hopes to set up events with other groups this summer.

She hopes improved access to mental health resources will help those in diversion and prevent others from winding up in the system.

“I just want people to start the conversation," Galloway said. "(I want to) make make mental health as important as physical health and get rid of the stigma that comes with that.”

Galloway is working to get funding for the PR campaign. She hopes it can start as early as June.