OHIO VALLEY — As we continue to fight against drug addiction, specifically the opioid epidemic, the Gallia-Jackson-Meigs ADAMH Board, sought to highlight the excellent work provided by individuals on the front lines of the fight.
The week of Sept. 20 was designated as “Week of Appreciation” with the message of “Bringing Help, Bringing Hope. Thank you,” to show our gratitude for all individuals, families, and professionals in the many roles spend their days working tirelessly to save lives. These individuals help those they serve to engage in the treatment, achieve recovery, support children and families impacted by this disease, promote prevention activities, and build healthy, resilient communities.
From Aug. 18 through Sept. 11, residents of Gallia, Jackson, and Meigs communities were asked to nominate a local champion actively involved in fighting opioid addiction. These individuals work beyond the call of duty, making differences in the lives of those who struggle with addiction. The work of these champions often faces heart-wrenching challenges and thankless recognition for their efforts. The Gallia-Jackson-Meigs ADAMH Board is proud to honor these three champions leading the battle against addiction in their communities.
Julie Mayer of Meigs County has spent her career actively and passionately serving and advocating for people affected by substance use disorders. Meigs County people know Mayer to be a compassionate and tireless worker, always seeking to improve her skills while improving the circumstances of those she serves. Whether working in prevention, school services, jails, or outpatient treatment, Mayer can be counted on to give her very best.
Joni Farrell of Gallia County is the coordinator of the harm reduction program at the Gallia County Health Department. She takes a personal interest in those she sees, no matter the need, be it a needle exchange or training for Narcan. Farrell strives to build trust with those who struggle with addiction, ensuring that they feel like they are community members. Offering hope and practical advice to each person with addiction, she assists. Her efforts to provide services expand beyond the health department’s walls as she visits the jail, homeless camps, homes, food pantries, wherever she can identify and assist another person who is in need.
Cheryl Browning of Jackson County has spent years of service, serving as chairperson of the Jackson County Substance-abuse Prevention and Addiction Resource Council (SPARC). Over the years, Browning dedicated her time working alongside community members in recovery or the families of those in recovery. The people of Jackson County have identified Browning as one who has gone above and beyond the call with her dedication to help these individuals get the help they need.
The addiction epidemic impacts every sector of society. The importance of focusing on and responding to meet the needs of individuals and families affected by addiction is paramount. With the concentration being on those suffering, those helping to fight the epidemic are often left with fatigue, secondary trauma, and little thanks. We have been pleased to be able to set aside the time to specifically say “Thank you” for “Bringing Help and Bringing Hope.”
For more information on how to join the fight against drug addiction, contact Shannon Dalton, Community Programming Coordinator of the Gallia-Jackson-Meigs ADAMH Board at 740-446-3022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shannon Dalton is the Community Programming Coordinator for the Gallia-Jackson-Meigs Alcohol, Drug Addition & Mental Health Board.