January 13 2020 0comment

United Way Releases New Grant Opportunity Focused on Prevention and Breaking the Stigma Around Substance Use Disorder

United Way of the Wabash Valley (UWWV) today announced a new grant opportunity issued from their Substance Use Disorders Impact Council.  The council is part of the United Way’s transition, which started over a year ago, to a collective impact focus on the root causes of generational poverty within their 6-county service area of Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo Counties in Indiana and Clark County in Illinois.  The new council focuses on well-rounded approaches to substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery solutions in support of United Way’s bold goal for the community to move 10,000 families out of financial struggles and into stability.

Dr. Randy Stevens, a family medical practitioner with Union Health and a member of the Substance Use Disorders Council explained the new grant opportunity.  “Our council has released 2 previous grants in 2019 that focused on treatment for those that are suffering from or in recovery from substance use disorders.  This grant instead focuses on two primary facets that we know can make a difference in our community, risk education for prevention and the stigma surrounding substance use.  According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 90% of people who have an addiction started to drink alcohol or use drugs before they were 18 years old.  We must educate the children in our community on the risks associated with substance use in order to help curb use in our community.  In addition, we know that there are many people who are suffering in silence because of the stigma surrounding substance use.  The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that only 19% of people who need help actually seek treatment.  We want to help break the stigma of substance use and provide a bridge to get those who are suffering and their families the receive the help they desperately need.”

The United Way’s Substance Use Disorders Council is soliciting proposals to expand prevention programs that focus on understanding the risks of substance use and/or programs that help to de-stigmatize substance use disorders through educations programs or campaigns. United Way is making available up to $100,000 in funding to be provided over two years. Applicants will be allowed to apply for up to a maximum of $25,000 (per year) for investment in 2020 and 2021.

Dr. Jennifer Hutchens, a clinical psychologist with specialties in addictions and pain management among other disorders, and co-chair of the Substance Use Disorders Council, shared the reasoning behind the grant. “Our council recognized that there are great programs in our community currently focused on both stigma and prevention.  We wanted to provide the opportunity to help support those programs, but also provide the avenue to grow them and also for new organizations across the 6-county United Way service area to develop innovative ways to promote both de-stigmatization and prevention.  We are looking forward to seeing an exciting variety of applications for this grant opportunity.”

Organizations interested in applying for the Prevention and Anti-Stigma Programs grant opportunity can find the full request and all proposal documents on the United Way website at uwwv.org/funding.  Letters of intent, the first step in the application process, are due February 28th.

If individuals are interested in donating to support the funding of these specific initiatives or impact councils, they are encouraged to visit United Way’s new interactive “Choose Your Impact” website at uwwv.org/choose.