Feb. 8 seminar to address firearms and mental illness

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



After several violent incidents involving guns and mentally disturbed people across the country, a local group is offering a seminar to address the issue of people with mental challenges having access to firearms.

Essence of Weaponry LLC will have a workshop at 8 a.m. Feb. 8 at 5234 Southern Blvd., titled “Firearms and Mental Illness.”

Delphine Baldwin-Casey of Essence of Weaponry, a retired Youngstown police officer and member of the Mahoning County Mental Health Board, said the seminar “is a preventive program where you can begin to look at things before they happen.”

“We don’t know what will happen, but it can’t hurt to put it out there and have the education,” she said. “If you have guns around, you have to consider all the issues.”

The seminar will address talking points such as guns in the wrong hands, assault weapons vs. handguns, mental disorders as a whole and suicide. Each segment will be led by various instructors.

Instructors for the seminar’s mental-disorders session will define and discuss types of disorders that may not be familiar to many people. Baldwin-Casey said there also will be a discussion of signs and symptoms of those with mental issues and how to get help.

She said the seminar’s suicide session also will be beneficial to those with weapons in the home, but also to those who may just be concerned about a loved one.

“Suicide is something we should always be looking for,” she said. “You will be given warning signs and a discussion on medications that are labeled for potential suicide tendencies.”

Baldwin-Casey said many people, including those with weapons in the home, may be living with someone with mental issues and need to learn how to properly and safely handle weapons.

“If you have a weapon, one of the things we teach is that you must educate the people in your house and know the people in your house so these guns don’t end up in the wrong hands,” she said.

The seminar cost is $75 per person. Those interested should call Baldwin-Casey at either 330-559-1927 or 234-855-0091.

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