Recovery is for Me Too at CCI

On Wednesday, June 26, 2024, OACBHA partnered with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to host a recovery celebration in a DRC institution. The team at Chillicothe Correctional Institution help design, build, and host a day of celebration. Swag bags with informational materials and treats were provided to all men in the CCI facility prior to the event. Two sessions were held where several hundred men were able to hear from three stellar speakers, Nathan Harmon, Kemp Boyd, and Stanley Frankfurt about their recovery processes. Nathan and Stanley also shared their personal experiences with incarceration. 

This event was the state’s first “inside” recovery celebration. The event was open to the more than 2,000 men incarcerated at Chillicothe Correctional Institution and included speakers sharing their lived experiences with addiction and recovery and messages of hope for the future. Informational booths were set up where the incarcerated men could learn more about recovery and mental health resources available during and after incarceration.

(Pictured: Attendees at the state’s first “inside” recovery celebration.)
“With the support of our staff and partners like OhioMHAS and OACBHA, we embrace the efforts of incarcerated Ohioans to change their lives by committing to recovery,” said ODRC Director Annette Chambers-Smith. “For us, hope is job one, and we will continue to do what we can to provide hope for our population and encourage them on their road to recovery. We want to send people home as healthy as possible.”
While small, select groups of incarcerated individuals have been permitted to attend recovery celebrations outside the prison walls in the past, this was the first time such an event was held inside an Ohio prison.
“Under Governor DeWine’s leadership, we are working hard to make services more visible, accessible, and effective for all – including the thousands of men and women in our prisons. Recovery and the promise of a brighter tomorrow apply to all Ohioans, no matter their circumstance in life,” said OhioMHAS Director LeeAnne Cornyn. “Our ongoing partnership with ODRC leverages our combined expertise to increase treatment within prisons and ensures a better connection to clinical and recovery supports upon release to help the men and women we serve be well, get well, and stay well.”
“We’re immensely proud to be a part of this extremely exciting, first of its kind, recovery event in an institution,” said Cheri L. Walter, CEO, Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities. “We’re thankful for the partnership with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the team at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution, and the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation. As we celebrate recovery and promote the benefits of accessing and engaging in services and supports, we’ll continue to show individuals throughout Ohio that treatment works, people recover, and Recovery Is Beautiful!”

The first-of-its-kind event was geared toward increasing awareness for mental health, addiction recovery, and suicide prevention as well as celebrating all those in recovery. Guests enjoyed live music from CCI’s day treatment program (DTP) band, comprised of members of the Day Treatment Mental Health Unit. The music program meets within the unit each week offering music therapy and training as part of the Mental Health Caseload.

Additional partners for the event include the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation and NAMI Ohio. 

Photos from the event are available on the OhioMHAS Flickr here

(Pictured: OACBHA staff at CCI Recovery Is for Me Too event) 

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