ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - In recognition of intellectual developmental disabilities awareness month, folks at Ellisville State School are making special deliveries to Pine Belt law enforcement agencies. It's a way to show support and thank agencies for their work, while reminding them about those with special needs in the community. Several departments have specialized teams and training which help officers understand symptoms of mental illness and how to better resolve a crisis situation. Stacey Holifield, who heads up the community employment program at Ellisville State School says the bigger picture is to erase the stigma often attached to those with intellectual disabilities.
"We really want to make persons in the community aware that we're there, persons we serve are there and we want to integrate them as much as possible," said Holifield.
"We feel that it's very important for people to understand that it's best to focus on abilities instead of disabilities because everyone has abilities to contribute to their communities to their churches, to their workplaces," said Jennifer Boswell with the public relations office Ellisville State School.
They passed out goodie bags in Bay Springs, Taylorsville, and Prentiss. The state school has been doing awareness events in March for many years and representatives will be at the state capitol Wednesday to speak with lawmakers.