Stepping up for mental health, addiction recovery – Hamilton County Reporter

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By DONNA SCHAIBLEY
State Representative

September is National Recovery Month, and a great time to highlight the available resources for mental health and addiction recovery. Help is out there, whether it’s in-person or by phone, and I’m committed to raising awareness, connecting Hoosiers to services, and celebrating recovery.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kaiser Foundation reported nearly one in 10 adults were living with a mental illness. According to the latest data, now about four in 10 adults are experiencing mental health problems after struggling to cope or manage stress and anxiety.

Thanks to funding approved by state lawmakers, more than $54.8 million in Community Catalyst Grants were recently awarded to 37 programs across the state to enhance the quality of and access to mental health and substance abuse treatment services.

Locally, the Hamilton County Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs received $250,000 to strengthen community overdose prevention efforts, and quick response teams in Sheridan and the Hamilton Heights school districts. This funding can be used to bolster evidence-based alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention, and mental health services. It will also support suicide question, persuade and refer, known as QPR, prevention programs, which promote learning the warning signs of a suicide crisis and connecting individuals with the help they need.

A new three-digit hotline, 988, also immediately connects anyone struggling or going through a mental health-related crisis to help. Indiana’s Be Well Crisis Helpline is another free and confidential resource to connect with trained counselors by calling 211 or visiting BeWellIndiana.com.

Indiana, and the rest of the nation, is facing an unprecedented epidemic of addiction and overdoses, which are often closely related to mental health issues. The Indiana Department of Health found a more than 41 percent increase in drug overdose deaths from January to December 2020, compared to the same time period in 2019.

To combat this, Indiana recently invested $1.3 million in overdose prevention helping nonprofits and first responders distribute naloxone, a life-saving overdose reversal drug, to more Hoosiers. To receive a naloxone kit and training on how to use the live-saving drug, visit overdoselifeline.org.

For loved ones on the road to recovery, checking in is crucial to keeping them on their journey. A phone call or visit can go a long way. For help navigating or connecting to state resources, please contact me at (317) 232-9863 or email [email protected].

State Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) represents House District 24, which includes portions of Boone and Hamilton counties.





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