GALLIPOLIS — Members of the Gallia Citizens for Prevention and Recovery (CPR) Coalition met virtually on Monday afternoon to discuss ongoing projects for the group.
Members of the coalition, who are mostly employees of various agencies in the area, updated the coalition on youth programs, suicide prevention efforts, human trafficking education and tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
Lisa Osborne updated CPR members of youth programs that are underway. Osborne teaches programs for healthy alternatives to youth in schools in Gallia County. Recently, students were able to express their feelings about the difficulty of wearing masks while at school. In the coming months, Osborne said the teens are partnering with the Tree of Hope project to plant trees around the county. Teens hope to put the first tree at the Gallipolis City Park. When the trees are planted, community members will have the opportunity to write messages on ornaments to place on the trees. Osborne said youth members selected this program to use their grant money.
Crystal Rankin, who is part of the suicide awareness subcommittee, told CPR members they are planning an Out of the Darkness walk for a Saturday in April. The walk was canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020. Rankin said the group is hoping for pop-up events at Rio Grande to gain engagement with college students.
Members of the human trafficking collaboration within CPR discussed their meeting from earlier on Monday. Lora Jenkins said Sojourners has a street outreach program for at risk youth in the area. Sojourners also has a “safe place” program for local businesses who want to be a safe place for youth to go to escape a potentially dangerous situation. Jenkins said the collaboration was told there are not many safe places within Gallia County.
Employees with the Gallia County Health Department spoke about upcoming programs regarding tobacco use. The department will be reopening the vaping program in the coming weeks and months. There will also be cessation programs available to organizations to refer their clients. A “store audit” will be taking place with the health department and students at Rio Grande to look at tobacco marketing and signage at convenience stores in the county.
A presentation was given by Trevor Moffitt, with Ohio State University Extension, on the Ohio Opioid Project (OHOP). For the project, a survey was completed this fall to examine networks in the county who address substance use disorders. The analysis was completed to understand how the networks work together. It was found that many of the agencies found sharing resources to be the most beneficial participation.
The next Gallia CPR meeting is scheduled for March 8 at noon.
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Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.