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Category: Ending Deaths from Despair

Settlement Funds Will Support Plan Against Opioid Epidemic

This story originally appeared on www.NBC15.com.

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – This year, the Department of Health Services expects to get nearly $31 million for the task to fight Wisconsin’s opioid epidemic.

The funds are the result of a settlement, as part of the National Prescription Opiate Litigation. About $6 million arrived as a first payment in late July, the DHS announced. DHS Secretary-Designee Karen Timberlake said Monday the plan to distribute the funds has been submitted to the state Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance.

Divided into three phases, the plan would largely tackle immediate needs, increase access to services around the state and invest in long term projects. Among the proposed figures, $3 million would increase the statewide availability of Narcan, the drug used to reverse opioid overdoses.

Set aside is even more money for capital projects, to expand prevention, treatment and recovery services.

“The longer we delay, the more we put at risk those who would benefit most from these life-saving investments,” Timberlake said.

Attorney General Josh Kaul (D-Wisconsin) spoke alongside health officials Monday.

“These funds have an opportunity to transform the response to the opioid epidemic and, finally, to turn the corner in this fight,” he said. “It’s critical though that those funds get to our communities as soon as possible because communities and families across the state of Wisconsin continue to suffer from the impacts of substance use disorder and from opioid overdoses.”

The Department of Justice has been working to “hold opioid companies accountable for their role in this epidemic,” according to Kaul.

Wisconsin’s opioid crisis began in the late 1990s, Timberlake said, amounting to an almost 900 percent increase in opioid overdose deaths from 1999 to 2018.

According to DHS data comparing demographic groups in 2020, Black people in Wisconsin had the highest rate of all opioid deaths.

“We don’t want to see our Black men or women ,again, dying from this when they don’t have to,” Carola Gaines, co-chair of the African American Opioid Coalition, said. “If they really want to change the narrative and they really want to transform issues then hopefully some of this funding will be involved in harm reduction, recovery housing and treatment.”

In the years to come, Wisconsin is due to receive more than $400 million in total settlement funds. Thirty percent of total funds will stay at the state level, while 70 percent will go to local governments.

Ending African American Deaths from Despair Opening Remarks

AAOC Ending African American Deaths from Despair – Joe Parisi, Dane County Executive, Webinar Series Opening Remarks Friday, June 5, 2020

“Words cannot express my sorrow at this heartbreaking moment in our nation’s history. Inexcusable violence against unarmed African Americans has gone unchecked for far too long. These crimes are indefensible.

We’re reminded at times like these that African American community members are in poorer health than white Americans FOR A REASON. Research on health disparities is clear: the trauma of experiencing and viewing relentless instances of violence and discrimination against people simply because of their race, along with structural racism that deprives African Americans of opportunities to achieve the same level of success as white Americans, takes a toll on African American mental and physical health.

It is in this context that I welcome you to this Ending African American Deaths from Despair webinar series. This conference has been in the planning stages for months, but it could not be more timely. Although the term “deaths from despair” was coined to refer to a recent spike in deaths among white Americans from opioid overdose, suicide and chronic alcoholism, African Americans bear a disproportionate burden of these deaths in Dane County. And we are concerned that trauma from recent events – violence plus the disproportionate impacts of the coronavirus on the Black community – will exacerbate this trend.

The goal of this webinar series is to offer concrete solutions and opportunities for involvement to prevent deaths from despair from the African American perspective. The program was planned by the African American Opioid Coalition, a group of Black leaders convened 3 years ago under the auspices of Safe Communities to reduce drug harm in the community.

I am excited to announce that this webinar series kicks off my Ending Deaths from Despair Initiative, launched with planning support from Safe Communities. In coming months we will convene a Task Force of community and clinical mental health, faith and business leaders, first responders and advocates to implement a coordinated plan to end deaths from despair:  deaths from suicide, overdose and chronic alcoholism.

In addition to work beginning during this webinar series, our action plan will include making recovery coaching and peer support available via EMS and emergency rooms for people experiencing a suicidal crisis, building partnerships with gun shops to increase safe storage options, and continuing our important work to establish Dane County’s Universal Access Center.

It is significant that this work begins thanks to leadership of Dane County’s African American community. Through this webinar series, we will learn important lessons about connection and resilience that we can apply to our work community-wide.  The African American Opioid Coalition is an innovator – and we appreciate their leadership and guidance as we move forward.

I am committed to continuing to work in partnership with the African American community to make Dane County a place of opportunity, fairness and justice for all who live here, and to work for the day when every person of color has access to the opportunity and safety they deserve, free from the trauma of racism.”

Purple Lights for Recovery

Show your support for those in recovery by participating in September’s events and lighting your business, organization or home in purple lights. When you do, you’ll be joining others who have lit the purple lights in past years including:

  • Madison Municipal Building
  • LaCrosse Bridge
  • Appleton Houdini Square
  • Google Main Campus
  • Niagara Falls
  • Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame
  • Seattle Space Needle
  • Various State Capitols

If you represent an organization, let us know about your commitment to purple lights Recovery Month by completing a short form. We’ll be celebrating your group’s building in a Wall of Fame slide show on our website.

If you are an individual, Safe Communities will provide one free purple light bulb for your home at our International Overdose Awareness Day event on August 31. Please complete this form by August 15th so we can be sure to have enough lights for everyone.

September is National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month

In honor of those we’ve lost, National Recovery Month is meant to find hope in the reality that recovery from substance use and mental health disorders happens. Recovery benefits everyone – families, friends, employers, neighborhoods – as well as the person in recovery.

This September marks the 33rd annual National Recovery Month to celebrate the gains made by those in recovery – just as we celebrate improvements made by people with other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.  But unlike those conditions, people living with mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders often face shame and stigma.

Please join us for these locally-sponsored National Recovery Month events:

 

Stories of Gratitude: Conversations with Helping Professionals Who’ve Fostered Recovery

Premiering on www.safercommunity.net
September 9, 2022

Join us to hear how professionals showing kindness and concern can make all the difference to people struggling with addiction.  During this series of conversations between people in recovery and the professionals who helped them get there, you’ll witness the impact a helping professional can have in a person’s life. These moving videos could be used during staff trainings to combat the ‘compassion fatigue’ hospital emergency room staff, paramedics and law enforcement are experiencing, with overdose deaths at an all time high. Thanks to American Family Institute for making this series possible.

Purple Lights for Recovery
Show your support for those in recovery by lighting your business, organization or home in purple lights.

Click here by August 15th to reserve your purple light. Arrange to pick up your light at International Overdose Awareness Day event on August 31st, or at Safe Communities’ office Monday – Friday 9 AM – 4 PM. Questions? Contact Safe Communities at info@safercommunity.net, (608) 441-3060

Rally for Recovery and Resource Fair
Hosted by Wisconsin Voices for Recovery
September 10th
Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison
visit Wisconsin Voices for Recovery website for details https://wisconsinvoicesforrecovery.org/category/events/

Viewing of Tipping the Pain Scale movie and Call to Action to Pass a Good Samaritan Law in Wisconsin
Hosted by Wisconsin Recovery Advocacy Project

Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Marcus Theaters Ultra Point Cinema
7:30 PM
$12
Purchase tickets at https://gathr.us/screening/32081
https://actionnetwork.org/groups/wisconsin-recovery-advocacy-project

Peers in the Park

Peers in the Park Events

Struggling with addiction and looking for help and support? Join us if you’d like to talk to a recovery coach, learn about resources available to you, and be in the company of people who will walk beside you without judgment.

The Recovery Coaches you’ll meet at Peers in the Park are in long term recovery and have received special training to help you on your path, whatever that looks like. Recovery coaches do not take the place of a therapist or sponsor. Our coaches have lived experienced — they can relate to what you’re going through.

At these Peers in the Park events, Safe Communities Recovery Coaches will host a cookout picnic (free), distribute naloxone and fentanyl test strips and be on-hand to listen and help:

Wednesdays, 4-7 PM
June 29 Kick-off at James Madison Park Shelter. Please join us!
July 13 Tenney Park
July 27 Brittingham Park
August 10 Hiestand Park
Aug 24 Penn Park
Sept 7 Demetral Park

 

 

Ending Deaths from Despair Webinar Series

Upcoming Webinars

Hosted by Ending Deaths from Despair Task Force 

We’re planning our 2023 schedule. Please email us with topics you would like to see covered.

Past Webinars

You can watch any of the webinars below by clicking on the FACTv Webinar Replay text. You’ll be redirected to the FACTv City of Fitchburg YouTube page.

How to Save a Life (Episode 1)

Presenters:  Tom Duval, Injury Prevention Program Coordinator, Safe Communities Madison Dane County and Jean Papalia, Suicide Prevention Specialist, Safe Communities Madison Dane County

FACTv Webinar Replay from March 25, 2022

Intended audience: All

 

S.A.V.E Veteran Suicide Prevention (Episode 2)

Presenter:  Andrea Bailey, LCSW, Lead Suicide Prevention Coordinator, William S. Middleton VA Hospital

FACTv Webinar Replay from April 8, 2022

Intended audience: All

 

Finding a Reason to Live: Etiology of Suicide and Provider Self-Care (Episode 3)

Presenter: Meghan Henderson, MSSW, LCSW, Clinical Program Supervisor Behavioral Services, UPH-Meriter

FACTv Webinar Replay from May 20, 2022

Intended audience: Clinicians and helping professionals

 

The S is Silent in the Black Village: Suicide, The Unspoken Word (Episode 4)

Panel Facilitator: Ms. Charlie Daniel, Founder, African American Opioid Coalition (AAOC) of Safe Communities

FACTv Webinar Replay from June 17, 2022

Intended audience: All

 

Harm Reduction and Chronic Alcoholism (Episode 5)

Presenter: John Ewing, MD, Addictionologist, UPH-Meriter NewStart

FACTv Webinar Replay from July 15, 2022

Intended audience: All

 

Preventing Farmer Suicides (Episode 6)

Panel Facilitator: Sara Kohlbeck, MPH, Director, Division of Suicide Prevention, Medical College of Wisconsin

FACTv Webinar Replay from September 23, 2022

Intended audience: All

 

Chronic Alcoholism and Poverty (Episode 7)

Panel Moderator: Ernie Stetenfeld, CEO, Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Madison

FACTv Webinar Replay from October 2022 

 Intended audience: All

 

Trauma from Domestic Violence and the Correlation with Suicidality (Episode 8)

Missy Mael, Associate Director, RCC Sexual Violence Resource Center and Zoe Heitzinger, Prevention Outreach Coordinator, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS)

FACTv Webinar Replay from October 21, 2022

Intended audience: All

 

Lock, Stock, and Barrel: Coming Together on Firearm Safety and Suicide Prevention with a Physician, Gun Shop Owner, and the Community (Episode 9)

Presenters: James Bigham, MD, MPH, Clinical Associate Professor, Dept. of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Chuck Lovelace, Owner, Essential Shooting Supplies

FACTv Webinar Replay from November 4, 2022

Intended audience: Clinicians, gun shop owners, policy makers, property managers, school staff, and anyone caring for patients (ex. social workers, medical students, nurses) – everyone welcome!

 

You Can Do It: A Guide to Collaborative Safety Planning (Episode 10)

Presenters: Meghan Henderson, MSSW, LCSW, Clinical Program Supervisor Behavioral Services, UPH-Meriter and Jacob Austin, PsyD, Primary Care Behavioral Health Program Coordinator, Group Health Cooperative

FACTv Webinar Replay from December 16, 2022  

Intended audience: All

 

RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE

Treatment Key

Safe communities has complied a list of abbreviation definitions for finding the right treatment for you.

MAT: Medication for Addiction Treatment.
OP: Outpatient Treatment – person lives at home or in the community, attends. individual and group therapy, these can include or not include MAT.
IOP: Intensive Outpatient Treatment – person lives at home or in the community, attends individual and extended groups, 9-12 hours a week.
Residential: person lives at the facility for a period of at least 14 days, some last as many as 45 days.
PHP: Partial Hospitalization Program is a structured mental health treatment program that runs for several hours each day, three to five days per week.
DBT: Dialectical behavior therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that integrates mindfulness techniques.