Lorain’s Place in Recovering From Mental Health and Addiction Stigma

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Local organizations are working hard to break down the stigma associated with mental health and addiction.

The Restoration Place (P2R) Training and Resource Center works with the Kingdom of God in the Church of Lorain. The Lorain County Mental Health and Recovery Services Committee (MHARS) and the National Family Alliance for the Mentally Handicapped (NAMI) will organize three phases of the A Shot of Hope program.

The first phase boasted of an idyllic gathering to discuss mental health and addiction in a faith community.

The discussion took place on August 17 at the Kingdom of God Church at 423 Washington Avenue in Lorain.

P2R Founder and CEO Wendy Caldwell said the event was created as needed.

Tonya Birney, Head of MHARS, teaches local ministers how to properly handle mental health and addiction situations.

“I could see people in pain and remain silent,” Caldwell said. “I don’t need it because there is help available.”

She said she believed the church could be a catalyst for healing from mental illness and addiction.

“We have the greatest power, but we need more information and tools to move forward,” Caldwell said.

The three-part event is funded by Ohio MHAS State Opioid Response, a faith-based stigma reduction and expansion project.

The focus was on facilitating dialogue on mental health and substance use disorders in the religious community, Caldwell said.

Participants left a discussion on strategies to improve outcomes for mental health and substance use disorders.

The minister had the resources and information of the board of directors of MHARS and NAMI.

Kimbro de Darrion and Wendy Caldwell command the icebreaker.

Dara Jones Kimbro, a NAMI volunteer and former pastor of Elyria, shared her testimony regarding her son’s diagnosis of mental illness.

“The pastor is having all kinds of pain, so I think it was important to share them,” Kimbro said. “In my example, this is an example of breaking out of the traditional healing methods of the religious community.

“I had to rely on NAMI as a resource for family help, and it is not common in black churches.”

Kimbro said he believes few African Americans seek help with mental illness because of the stigma.

Michael Doud, director of MHARS ‘new board, said he feels positive about the agency’s direction.

Daud said he was from Lorraine and was happy to serve his hometown.

Michael Daud, Director of the Lorraine County MHARS Board of Directors, speaks to participants about mental illness.

“It’s coming home,” he said. “I am delighted to see people in this field very passionate about this work. “

Mr Daud said that the development of the crisis center could be done in the near future.

“People are very passionate about the development of a new crisis center,” he said. “There’s a lot of attention in Lorain County, and if we can do it right, we’ll set the standard. “

Caldwell said Phase II will focus primarily on resource allocation.

“The aim is to disseminate information about the resources throughout the community and create opportunities to participate in motivational discussions,” she said.

This event is a collaboration between P2R and the Kingdom of God only.

The climax will take place on September 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Greater Victory Christian Ministry in Lorain at 559 Reed Avenue.

The third stop will include a continental breakfast, a series of workshops and guest speaker from Joyner and Associates, Jim Joyner.

This event is free and open to the public.

Contact Caldwell (Wendy @ placetorecover) for more information.

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