Overdose Lifeline — “Happy first anniversary, United Council on Opioids!”

Lynn Saylor, Monticello Herald-Journal, February 8, 2020

The United Council on Opioids serving White County just celebrated its first anniversary.

Since Jan. 25, 2019, more than 70 community members have participated in creating solutions to the local substance abuse crisis. The UCO has developed partnerships with agencies across the region.

As we celebrate the UCO first anniversary, let’s reflect on all the accomplishments of its first year.

White County United Way brought leaders from the area together in the spring of 2018 to ascertain whether there was interest in developing a coalition to address the substance use epidemic. Under the United Way leadership, the AmeriCorps United Against Opioid Abuse initiative began and led to the formation of the United Council on Opioids.

In one year, the UCO task force groups have sponsored three rounds of billboard advertising promoting awareness of substance abuse in partnership with the city of Monticello.

They gathered information on treatment and recovery services in multiple locations around White County, developing resource directories/brochures of services that support mental and substance use disorder.

In a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of White County, an opioid awareness play was written and performed by Boys & Girls Club members to fifth graders at Meadowlawn Elementary School and the members of the Lynn Treece Boys & Girls club in Lafayette.

The UCO has partnered closely with the North Central Quick Response Team in connecting peers to local agencies and services. The UCO has spread the word about QRT to service organizations, government agencies, and business to help reach out to those in need in our community.

They are partnering with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health) to bring a grief support group to White County as well as providing facilitator training for people desiring to lead mental health support groups locally.

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