The Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board and the Highland County Commissioners gathered Wednesday at the Highland County Sheriff’s office to show their appreciation for first responders.
As part of the event, pizzas were delivered to the sheriff’s office and to other first responders around the county as a “thank you” message for their work to eradicate opiates and help individuals coping with addiction to recover.
Commissioners Shane Wilkin, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton presented a resolution expressing their gratitude and appreciation to community members working on the front lines in the opioid crisis, and ADAMH Board Executive Director Penny Dehner read a resolution from Ohio Governor John Kasich, as well as a certificate of recognition for all Highland County first responders from the Ohio Attorney General.
“We sponsored the day of appreciation because we see every day the difficulty and pain so many of our front-line fighters face as they work to help individuals in need,” Dehner said. “The positive impact that recovery from addiction can have on individuals, families, job growth, community safety, and overall economic development cannot be overstated.”
Dehner added that treatment works and people can recover from addiction.
“Support is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do,” Dehner said. “Our community will be stronger for it.”
Dehner also spoke about secondary traumatic stress, a condition with symptoms mimicking those of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
According to Dehner, the board will offer a secondary trauma symposium for first responders in the board’s region.
The first will be held on Wednesday, May 9 at the Ross County Service Center in Chillicothe, and the second will be held Wednesday, May 30, at Southern State Community College’s Washington Court House campus.
Attendees will learn coping skills and receive additional resources including a self-care video from Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services.
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 alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services for the residents of Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties.