Those who follow my misadventures on Facebook may know that my beloved Lima Beanie “Love Thy Neighbor” work coffee mug cracked recently and was retired. I believed a new mug would find its way to me, organically.
Just the other day, thanks to Coleman Professional Services, one did just that. I happily scooped up the mug (the Kit Kats inside helped) at a Coleman informational coffee, but really the mug was the least of what I gleaned.
Coleman served 5,813 people in 2016 in Allen, Auglaize and Hardin counties. For a long time, the majority of those served were helped with mental health issues. Now, for the first time, the single largest client group were helped with substance abuse issues. The opioid/heroin crisis is directly responsible for that.
Coleman’s response to the opioid/heroin crisis is one of real community leadership. One piece of that is new treatment coming this summer. As part of Coleman’s renovation of the Crisis Stabilization Unit in Lima (also known as the We Care Regional Crisis Center on South Main Street), by July the center will include beds for people beginning detox. The program will be clinically managed, medically supported and highly intensive residential treatment, Coleman officials shared during a recent ribbon cutting.
My guess is that program will be at capacity from the moment it opens. When she spoke to Lima Rotary Club in January, Coleman’s local chief said for every person they’re successfully treating, a new addict is walking through their door. Tammie Colon is Coleman Professional Services’ chief officer for behavioral health services in Allen, Auglaize, Hardin Counties. Coleman is the primary contracted provider for the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize, and Hardin Counties.
Colon challenged the group at Rotary that day, saying one of the biggest ways to improve the situation is to provide employment to recovering addicts. Steady employment is a major help to keeping recovering addicts on a very difficult path. That is a workforce issue, because one of the places in the coming years we’ll close the workforce gap is with the chronically underemployed, difficult to employ, and people who have long been out of the workforce.
The work to help people with substance abuse issues and mental health issues is heavy lifting, and also complicated. Because of this, Coleman does a really smart thing: They invite the public to hear what they’re up to. That’s how I came to attend a coffee, and you can too. The next Coleman Coffee information session for Allen County is April 19, and you can find out more about it at http://www.colemanservices.org/events/coleman-coffees.aspx.
You’ll be surprised to learn the different ways Coleman is affecting the community, including in workforce development. For example, Coleman, Allen County Job and Family Services, West Ohio Community Action Partnership, and Allen County Child Enforcement Agency now work together helping fathers with felonies who couldn’t get jobs, and as a result were not paying child support, and as a result of that, not seeing their kids. Today, Fathers Accountable for Children's Tomorrows (FACT) is helping dads get and stayed employed, which means they’re paying support and seeing their children.
I’d invite you learn more about Coleman’s creative and collaborative efforts. They’re eager to share.