A Community Awareness Panel and Forum was held Wednesday, August 10, in Centerville. Rathbun Lake Area YMCA presented the event in collaboration with Sieda Behavioral Health and Treatment Services. Moreover, the topics included the Opioid Crisis and substance abuse in south central Iowa.

Several panelists from Behavioral Health and Treatment Services (BHTS) were in attendance. Those included from Sieda BHTS were Cristy Toloza, SIPDO Coordinator for Appanoose County. As well as Sieda BHTS Prevention Specialists Cassidy Patton and Ilene Johnson. In addition, Christina Estes, SIPDO Training Coordinator. And last but not least, Sarah Collis, our Peer Recovery Coach. Other panelists included Dale Woolery, Director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, and Jackson Justus, Pharmacist at Owl Pharmacy. Mike Moore, Assistant Chief of Police in Centerville, moderated the event.

The panel each shared 5 minutes of information and entertained questions. Approximately 25 citizens attended. They expressed their frustrations, concerns, and desire to decrease substance abuse and its consequences in Appanoose County. Panelists thanked the attendees for their involvement and concluded they would use the community members’ input to help make change happen.

In conclusion, connections were made, and momentum will continue. To quote Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Watch the Forum.