By MELINDA WILLIAMS
With substance abuse and use issues being addressed in only about 27 percent of faith communities, a local organization is sponsoring training to provide faith-based leaders the skills they need to approach the subject.
Lee Spiegel, coordinator of Pulaski Community Partners Coalition (PCPC), said many in the faith community would like to address substance abuse issues in their congregations, but feel ill equipped to do so.
PCPC’s two-part regional training seminar, “Understanding the Impact of Addiction and Supporting Recovery: Strategies and Tools for Faith Communities” is designed to provide tools needed to combat substance abuse issues from the faith side of the spectrum, according to Spiegel.
The first session will be held Tuesday, Sept. 24, and the second on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Each session runs 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will be held at New River Valley Business Center, 6580 Valley Center Drive, off Viscoe Road in Fairlawn.
This is the second time PCPC has offered the seminars. Spiegel said a number of faith leaders were unable to make it to last winter’s seminar, so the agency decided to schedule another one.
The first session in the series addresses topics such as: why the faith community; impact on the family; in your faith traditions; congregational teams education; resources and intervention, and action steps at the individual, congregation and community levels.
The second session will review questions that have arisen since the first session; congregations will report on their work and discuss what additional information or tools are needed; address the need for a substance abuse crisis team and identify gaps in services, and create a community and regional network of faith based services.
The training sessions are free, but registration is required by Sept. 19 in order to ensure adequate food and supplies for participants. Lunch and a light breakfast will be provided.
Visit www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0F4FA4A62DA02-understanding1 to register, or go to www.aboutpcpc.org and click on the link. Those who are unable to register online should email Spiegel at PCPC1@verizon.net.
Each participant is urged to invite at least two people from their congregation to register as well.
Co-sponsoring the seminar is Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.