Local leaders gather for St. Joseph county mental health forum

NOW: Local leaders gather for St. Joseph county mental health forum

GRANGER, Ind. -- Since Jan. 1, St. Joseph County has seen 40 people die as a result of overdoses.

Tuesday night, local leaders and mental health organizations gathered together to provide community members with the information and resources that they need to continue in the fight against mental health struggles and substance abuse disorders.

Event organizers like Alicia Wells, a woman on a recovery journey of her own, spoke at the forum and provided St. Joe county residents with detailed numbers regarding local overdose deaths, and how aid tools like Narcan are helping to decrease the number of fatal overdoses.

Since Jan. 1, Narcan has saved the lives of 105 people within St. Joe county alone.

Wells says that forums like these are essential due to their open and judgement-free environment. 

"Community conversations on nights such as this we were getting together and actually talking about what’s happening without any fear mongering, or scare tactics and saying, ‘you know what help is available and we’re here and we want to be able to help resource map for individuals, and make sure that community members do not feel alone in their struggle.” said Wells.

Indiana State Representative Jake Teshka also spoke at the forum about Senate Bill one, which allocates more than $100 million dollars towards mental health services.

"Well, we know that most Hoosiers, if not all Hoosiers, at least know someone who is struggling with mental health issues or a substance abuse disorder. And so, for those folks, I would say that you’re not alone. Your elected leaders, your faith leaders, folks in the community are here to help, we want to help and that’s why you saw the state take such bold action in this last legislative session.” said Teshka.

If you or a loved one is in need of mental health resources or are struggling with substance abuse disorders, officials recommend that you reach out immediately. 

Local resources include:

Bare Knuckle Recovery

St. Joseph County Health Department

Allendale Treatment

Recover Michiana

St. Joseph County Police Department

Fort Wayne Recovery

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