Washoe sheriff releases videos for Mental Health Awareness Month

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 7:55 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is releasing videos targeted towards parents, teens, and community members during May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month.

The videos discuss suicide, depression, warning signs, and residual effects on law enforcement from responding to unspeakable calls for service.

“In starting a discussion on mental health it is my sincere hope that we will all gain some insight on how to broach this very difficult topic with our children, our friends or family members, that we will be able to identify warning signs, and that if someone needs it – they will know how to ask for help,” Sheriff Darin Balaam said in a statement.

The campaign centered around the story of 14-year-old Brandon Mateo, who took his life on February 18, 2020.

His mother, Shannon, speaks about the experiences leading up to her son’s suicide, signs of depression, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office’s role in investigating her son’s death, and what has happened since.

Deputies and detectives who responded to the scene discuss how Brandon Mateo’s suicide, and the necessary death investigation, still touches them. The videos also explore why it’s necessary for law enforcement to have access to mental health care.

“I also hope community members might gain some insight on the humanity behind the badge,” Balaam said. “The men and women of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office make me proud every day – and Brandon’s case is one reason why.”

Every Friday this month a new video will post to WCSO social channels.

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