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Commissioners support mental health, fight against opioids
The Daily Record - 5/3/2019
MILLERSBURG — Holmes County Commissioner Rob Ault said that when families need help they should be able to get it. He and his fellow commissioners support May as Mental Health Awareness Month and issued a proclamation honoring all community members working on the front line in the fight against Ohio’s opioid epidemic.
The proclamation claims that Wayne and Holmes counties will nurture and reinforce county and community efforts to prevent and treat addiction, including opioids; educate youth and adults about addiction and recovery, and promote family building and workforce development as ways of combating the effects of addiction on communities and encourage community engagement in efforts to address the present opioid epidemic.
“Holmes County is working to build a comprehensive system of prevention, education, intervention, interdiction, treatment and recovery for all citizens of Holmes County,” Ault said. “The commissioners pledge our support for the individuals, family members and professionals throughout our community who are bringing help and bringing hope by working daily to save lives, provide treatment to assist families and support recovery.”
Ault said mental health awareness and the fight against the opioid epidemic go hand in hand.
“We have always been supportive of mental health and the drug issue,” Ault said. “A lot of these programs go together.”
“We were one of the first ones to help with funds, providing grant money to start some programs here in the county like the SPARK program,” Commissioner Ray Eyler added.
The first people on the scene when there is a problem is usually law enforcement or EMS.
“This is something everybody is fighting, and these first responders are not recognized enough for what they go through,” Eyler said. “They can be affected just as easily as the people taking the drugs, not realizing what they are walking into when they come onto the scene.”
Ault pointed out that dealing with mental health and or drugs with families is not an easy job, especially when children are involved.
“We want people to be able to get help,” he said. “I think some of the churches finally got together. You’ve got to have a place for people to go to ask for and to get help. I hate seeing when it affects an entire family. I want people who need help to be able to get help.”
Eyler said a lot of the problems started when the state shut down mental health institutions and put it all back on the counties.
Ault credits the job the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office and the Holmes County courts for the success in cutting into the local drug problem.
“For a long time, it was said you don’t want to deal in Holmes County because of the law enforcement and the courts,” Ault said. “We still have a problem. We’re not naive. But we don’t have it as bad as some of the other counties.”
CREDIT: KEVIN LYNCH