This August, the WHI’s Opioid Project is partnering with the Washtenaw Recovery Advocacy Project (WRAP), a program of Home of New Vision, to bring back the annual Washtenaw Opioid Summit on August 31 and September 1.
WHI member advocacy revived the event after funding cuts
Historically, the summit was funded by grants from the Community Mental Health Partnership of Southeast Michigan. However, due to COVID-related budget cuts, the event was unable to happen in 2021.
Recognizing the importance of regularly bringing the community together to address ongoing and new issues around the opioid crisis, the WRAP team advocated to secure funding for this year’s event. By knocking on the doors of elected representatives in Lansing, WRAP and several other recovery community organizations (RCOs) successfully lobbied for the addition—and expansion— of dedicated grant funding in the state budget to support RCOs.
“It’s been really encouraging to see our elected officials support a community-focused vision of recovery,” said Sara Szczotka, director of community initiatives at Home of New Vision, who is also a co-chair of the Opioid Project.
“It has allowed us to continue organizing events like this,” Szczotka continues, “which help foster a sense of unity and collective impact among the different local organizations working to address the harms caused by substance use disorder.”
After applying for and being awarded this grant, the WRAP team graciously partnered with the WHI Opioid Project to bring this event back to our community.
A focus on social determinants of health and holistic approaches
This year’s event will consist of two half-day virtual summits on August 31st (9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and September 1st (1 to 4:30 p.m.). With International Overdose Awareness Day falling on August 31st, as well as National Recovery Month kicking off in September, the Opioid Project wanted to also recognize those who are still struggling with substance use disorder and celebrate and promote recovery in our community.
Building off past summits hosted in 2018, 2019, and 2020, this year’s event aims to address a wide range of subject areas that are critical in the continued fight to address the harms associated with opioid and other substance use in Washtenaw County. There will be a focus on the intersection of social determinants of health (SDoH) and substance use and the importance of person-centered approaches to promote recovery.
“We’re really trying to demonstrate how our response to substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health issues takes so much more than addressing them in a treatment setting,” notes Matt Hill, WHI project manager and Opioid Project facilitator.
“Addressing social needs is equally as important in increasing the likelihood of people being able to mitigate the harmful effects of substance use,” says Hill.
Some of this year’s summit’s topics include:
- Unarmed community response programs
- Support for current and prospective parents with opioid use disorder
- The intersection of health equity and the behavioral health workforce shortage
- Opioid use disorder in the older adult population
Please join us for the Opioid Summit on August 31 and September 1
To attend the 2022 Washtenaw Opioid Summit, please visit the registration page here.
Questions? Email Matt Hill at email@example.com