ADAMH holds first recovery celebration


The Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Services Board held its inaugural recovery celebration Tuesday at the Sunroom at the Brick in Frankfort.

“To commemorate Recovery Month and the 50th anniversary of the board’s creation, we felt it was important to recognize individuals that make a recovery possible for the residents of our board area,” said Jack Clark, chair of the board of directors.

Penny Dehner, executive director of the Paint Valley ADAMH Board, said, “Traditionally we recognize an Advocate of the Year, but decided to expand the awards to include a mental health advocate, addiction advocate, crisis intervention team (CIT), Champion and Recovery Oriented System of Care Champions. The evening was all about celebrating recovery. Sharing some successful recovery stories and honoring those who have led the way towards recovery was the focus. We know treatment works, people recover and recovering people work.”

Terry Russell, executive director, National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio (NAMI Ohio), served as the keynote speaker. Russell’s message included “Recovery does work and it works for everyone, substance use disorder and mental health diagnosis both can, and do, recover and live happy successful lives.”

The following individuals received Recovery Oriented System of Care Champion Awards for their dedication to the residents of our Board region:

• Christina Blair, Community Action of Fayette Recovery

• Lt. Gabe Carpenter, Commercial Point Police Department, Pickaway County

• Patricia Friel, Friel and Associates, Ross County

• Tracy Hathaway, The Recovery Council, Pike County

• Jennifer Kessinger, Ross County Sheriff

• Tonya Sturgill and Jon Parr – Highland County Probation Department

Crisis Intervention Team Champion, Corporal Robert Minney III of the Piketon Police Department, was nominated by Police Chief Mike Blair. Minney used his de-escalation skills from his CIT training to assist a resident who was in crisis. He was able to peacefully, without use of force, assist the resident out of his home and to an EMS unit. EMS was able to transport the resident to Adena Pike Medical Center to receive a mental health evaluation.

Mental Health Advocate Jim Butt of Chillicothe was nominated by his sister, Laura Butt. Jim was a founding member of the Ross County Suicide Prevention Coalition in 2006 and served as the chair until 2017. He joined the coalition after the suicide of his own son, Bryant. He is a true advocate for suicide prevention and survivors of suicide.

Addiction Advocate Tom Johnson (posthumously), The Recovery Council Pike County. Tom Johnson served as the executive director of the Recovery Council for 31 years. Under his direction the agency grew from a staff of two to 184, from one outpatient office in Pike County to three outpatient offices in three counties. Tom passed away on Oct. 25, 2016. His award was received on his behalf by his wife, Pam Johnson.

The Paint Valley ADAMH Board is a political subdivision of state government created in 1967 by the Ohio legislature to ensure the availability of community-based addiction and mental health services for the residents of Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties.

Submitted by Melinda Sheets, Paint Valley ADAMH public affairs coordinator.

The Recovery Oriented System of Care Champion Awards went to Tonya Sturgill, Jennifer Kessinger, Tracy Hathaway, Jon Parr, Pat Friel, Gabe Carpenter and Christina Blair. Recovery Oriented System of Care Champion Awards went to Tonya Sturgill, Jennifer Kessinger, Tracy Hathaway, Jon Parr, Pat Friel, Gabe Carpenter and Christina Blair.

Submitted story

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