The fall months offer great opportunities for continued growth and learning for those in a helping profession like Green Country’s and our staff takes full advantage. This past month, two of our teams attended separate conferences that provided insight into how to care for those with substance use and abuse conditions and the impact it has on Oklahoma families.
The 2019 Annual Prevention and Recovery Conference, Expanding Possibilities, brings together local, state and national leaders to discuss best practices and promising practices in the areas of prevention, mental health and substance use disorder treatment, recovery and overall wellness. The conference is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS).
Another group including leaders from the Muskogee Head Start program attended the Head Start Region 6 meeting in Dallas to address the opioid crisis in our state. More specifically, the misuse of opioids and how it affects the children and families of those with opioid addiction problems. Oklahoma has one of the highest opioid-related overdose and death rates in the country and many of those are parents. Leigh Combs, Director of Nursing at GCBHS said, “We are very fortunate that Green Country is the grantee for Muskogee county Head Start and that we already have integrated services. However, we came back with some fresh ideas on ways that we can better serve our Head Start families through our Medication Assisted Treatment program.
Muskogee Head Start/Early Head Start Director, Christin Bolinger added, “There was some great information on substance abuse that I was not aware of and it was great to have participants outside of the Head Start community and from the state level there to get to know the services offered by Head Start. A big thing we’ve learned this week is that Muskogee County already has some great partnership models in place to help address these issues. This will lead to even more great collaborations in our community toward a common goal.”
“Head Start is so much more than childcare and they truly have services that help the entire family, not just the children. This meeting was a way to recognize the opioid crisis and develop a plan for how Head Start can better support their children, families and the community.” Combs said.
Learn more about Muskogee County Head Start HERE.
Learn more about the opioid crisis in Oklahoma HERE.