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TGH Behavioral Health Services hosts community block party

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — As a way to spread awareness about mental health and substance abuse, the owners and staff of TGH Behavioral Health Services hosted a weekend block party at its new location, complete with food, ice cream, blood pressure checks and a discussion about bullying.

The business, which opened in 2015, moved to 505 W. Franklin St. about three weeks ago. The gathering drew a large crowd of people from the neighborhood and supporters of the facility.

The staff was on hand to sign up people in need of services, said Shiheria Shipp, co-assistant director of TGH. She said they also wanted to be able to explain what services the company provides. The company serves clients not just in Rowan County but in Forsyth, Henderson and Mecklenburg counties and beyond.

Shipp said it was also an opportunity for people to see the police in a positive light. The Salisbury Police Department’s ice cream truck was on hand staffed by Officer Shakiya Taylor.

Salisbury Fire Department firefighters gave tours of a firetruck.

“It’s a chance to give back. We’re not going to take from them and not give back,” Shipp said.

The owners of the company are Tijuanna Hooker and Tonya Rankin.

“It’s a big issue right now,” Angela Hampton said of mental illness. “It’s great to know this resource is available in the community.

Hampton attended with her daughter, Jaiylah, 7, and her friend Nyshekia Chambers and her daughter, Serenity Lynch, 6. The girls performed with Prancing Pearls, a local dance group.

Participating was a way to give back to the people who support the dancers, said Pearls founder Courtnee Spruill.

She and instructor Jayhona Johnson came with about six girls who performed a couple of dance routines.

About seven young girls with Triple Threat Dance & Charm also performed a couple of routines.

“It’s nice for our community, and we want to give back,” said Triple Threat instructor Ebonee Stockton.

Daquondra Cuthbertson, a former Salisbury resident who now lives in Greensboro, spoke to the youths about bullying.

“Most people don’t like to talk about bullying. I want to motivate kids and let them know they can be anything they want to be,” Cuthbertson said.

She told the group it’s OK to encourage one another instead of talk about them.

“You cannot let one person tell you who you are,” she told the crowd.

For more information about TGH Behavioral Health Services, call 704-754-5662.



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