Recently there have been efforts to focus on the safety and monetary hazard in the workplace, when pertaining to drug abuse, The Mental Health, Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Board of Putnam County (ADAMHS Board), have come together with 15 local collaborators and partners to introduce the Working Partners® Drug-Free Workforce Community Initiative in Putnam County. This is not a new trend as similar action has taken place across 18 other counties all across the state of Ohio.
This local initiative has commenced officially after all of the parties involved held a meeting on December 14th, 2016. At the first meeting the participants in the group learned the goals of the program. These goals are to, raise awareness or the preparedness of the workforce, build a healthier, stronger and even more productive workplace, and to produce a method to educate employees on drug abuse. In theory the education on drugs is to help the employees, who many are parents of children and young adults to combat drug abuse. The aim is to prevent drug abuse among their society, specifically young people. Additionally, the members have examined the current trends of substance abuse in their local district and looked at their districts specific needs and assets for the initiative. An enthusiastic Jennifer Horstman, the Executive Director of the ADAMHS Board, stated that “We are excited to begin the important work of bringing employers and community leaders together to address the drug-related issues facing our community”. She later went on to say “Our initial stakeholder meeting was the first step in the process of making our workplaces safer and our workforce and community stronger.”
Amy Sealts, the President of the organization shared similar excitement when stating “The Chamber is pleased to be invited to participate as a stakeholder in this local Working Partners® Drug-Free Workforce Community Initiative,”. She went on to say “By collecting data and bringing to light the issues we face in our community, sharing best practices and working collaboratively, we have the opportunity to tackle this issue in a focused way and have a true impact.”
Currently what OhioMHAS and Working Partners® are doing is creating a public-private partnership to help advance the Working Partners® Drug-Free Workforce Community Initiative ahead, not just in Putnam County but also across the state as well. The conglomerate will help aid in local employment blueprints as they are linked to drug-free workplaces. Some of the funding for these initiatives are being provided by OhioMHAS, to help with the costs to assemble and facilitate stakeholders, so they can properly determine specific needs that the community face, while creating local action plans to help their goals. OhioMHAS, has helped fund 18 of these communities to help develop strong drug-free workplaces by using a variety of the best strategies to help meet the community’s needs.
Overall the initiatives plan to educate their workforce on the threats of drug abuse is a strong strategy, especially to combat drug use among young people. More often than not a proper education can help aid a parent in speaking with their children about drug use and can also help them learn more about the current drug trends.
Pathways Putnam (ADAMHS Board)
Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services
National Alliance on Mental Illnes Ohio (NAMI-Ohio)
Resiliency Ohio – Supporting Mental Health in Ohio’s Youth