The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy awarded nearly $15 million in funding for rural communities to address psychostimulant misuse and related overdose deaths. Psychostimulants include methamphetamine and other illegal drugs, such as cocaine and ecstasy, as well as prescription stimulants for conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or depression. United Way of the Wabash Valley was one of 29 organizations awarded nationwide $500,000 over the next three years to address substance use disorders and psychostimulant misuse in their rural service area communities of Sullivan, Parke, and Vermillion counties. They were the only United Way organization in the country to receive this grant.
Over the past three years, United Way has been executing a Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) planning grant followed by an implementation grant. These grants have taken an in-depth look at our rural communities in the Wabash Valley and their needs relating to substance use disorder and allowed organizations the opportunity to begin addressing the identified gaps in service. This new HRSA implementation grant takes a focus on psychostimulant misuse and will allow United Way of the Wabash Valley to partner with nine organizations to build upon the work being done by implementing a set of core substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery activities grounded in evidence-based or promising practice models created for each of our community’s unique needs.
This grant will fund programming provided by United Way, Chances and Services for Youth, Hamilton Center, Next Step Foundation, FSA Counseling Center, Indiana State University, IU Health Bloomington – Positive Link, Mental Health America of West Central Indiana, Southwest School Corporation, and Northeast School Corporation. This programming will include:
- Expanded counseling and life skills training programs
- Increased health and social service professionals in the area
- Over 2,000 students enrolled in new school-based, evidence-based, teacher-led prevention programs per year
- Increased HIV/HCV testing delivery
- Expanded treatment and recovery services
“This grant is another great example of United Way working together with community partners to tackle the tough issues like substance use disorders in our community,” stated Dana Simons, co-chair of the United Way Substance Use Disorders Impact Council and Executive Director of Next Step Foundation. “The issues we are facing will not be solved by one organization working alone. This grant allows multiple community partners to expand the services we are able to offer in the rural communities and build upon the great momentum our organizations are creating together.”
“Prevention is a very important part of addressing the substance use disorder issue in our community,” stated Myra Wilkey, co-chair of the United Way’s Substance Use Disorders Impact Council and the Executive Director of Mental Health America of West Central Indiana. “This grant will allow us to expand our important prevention work in the rural communities.”
“Our Substance Use Disorders Impact Council is doing big things and this is a great win for our community,” said Richard Payonk, Executive Director of the United Way of the Wabash Valley. “This grant builds upon the success of our other HRSA grants and will provide for even more in our community. This grant demonstrates how United Way is working to bring organizations together in collaborative ways to provide unique solutions and tap into more resources for our community.”