“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” - Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The faith-based community is a critical resource in the fight against the opioid and addiction epidemic. Church leaders are looking for ways to leverage their relationships, outreach, infrastructure and volunteer capacity to make a difference in their communities, though many are unsure how their places of worship and faith-based community organizations can best contribute to the fight.
The opioid and addiction crisis is taking more and more lives and hurting more and more communities. Families in crisis exists in every town across our country, and these families turn to their church for help. Faith-based communities are well-situated to help families navigate crisis, but they are also natural community leaders and changemakers to help shape how communities respond to addiction. They have the ability to go upstream, and to help keep families from falling into the river.
At this training, learn how congregations across North Carolina have started and maintained efforts to address the opioid and addiction epidemic by educating their community, reducing the shame and stigma around help-seeking behaviors, building community capacity for addiction treatment, and being an active partner in building sustainable recovery for individuals.
Also, learn how your community can build similar efforts by using the SAFE Project Community Playbook. SAFE Project, a nonprofit focused on stopping the addiction fatality epidemic, has developed the SAFE Community Playbook, a step-by-step guide on how communities can organize to make positive change. The Playbook walks communities through how they can engage with stakeholders across six important sectors to impact the epidemic, save lives and heal families. Faith leaders and community members can use their power to convene to bring together these important stakeholders for a common purpose through implementing the Playbook’s tools.
- Hear examples faith communities across North Carolina about how they have
responded to the need to address addiction.
- Walk through the SAFE Community Playbook, including
- How to build a broad base of stakeholder support;
- Using simple tools to evaluate your community; and
- Matching your community with best examples of actions and tools from across the country.
- Provide examples of simple and complex actions faith-based communities can take
to start their community on the path of healing, educating, and helping.
About the Trainer
Josie Beets is Senior Director of National Coordination at SAFE Project, responsible for establishing, developing and maintaining individual state efforts and raising public awareness of SAFE Project mission to contribute in a tangible way to overcoming the addiction epidemic. Ms. Beets has more than 15 years experience solving complex problems at the local and national level. Ms. Beets was the Senior Advisor to the President’s Management Council and Federal Chief Financial Officers Council. Prior to that, she was the President of the Military Spouse JD Network and the Public Policy Director of the Tennessee Bar Association. She holds a JD from Brooklyn Law School and a BA from Sweet Briar College.
Funding in whole or in part for this event was provided by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services with funding from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
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