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Combating Suicide and Addiction Through Community Partnerships

One of the most common risk factors of suicide is drug and alcohol abuse. At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we have made it a priority to help prevent suicide, battle the addiction crisis and erase the stigma of mental illness.

One way we are doing this is by partnering with organizations like the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities. The Alliance, based in Auburn Hills, offers substance abuse prevention, mental and physical wellness, and recovery support programs.

“Blue Cross’ support has been immense. We view Blue Cross as a true partner in our efforts to reduce substance misuse and increase recovery support efforts in Oakland County,” said Julie Brenner, the Alliance CEO. “With the stresses of COVID, we are seeing an uptick in suicides and overdose death rates, and we are striving to increase support to prevent that from happening.”

Two years ago, Blue Cross partnered with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Superior Health Foundation toward a $70,000 Taking Action on Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse in Michigan grant to the nonprofit. The grant was used to purchase Narcan intervention kits (used to treat opioid overdoses), provide training, pilot the Resolve Program (life skills curriculum for individuals transitioning out of jail, detox, or drug court) and increase the availability of prescription drug disposal opportunities.

This year, Blue Cross is a gold-level sponsor of the Alliance’s Shatter the Stigma campaign. It kicked off Aug. 31 on International Overdose Awareness Day, and continues through the end of September. As part of the campaign, the nonprofit is hosting a virtual fundraiser, and offering free online Narcan trainings at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and recovery support groups via Zoom at 7 p.m. Thursdays.

“At Blue Cross, we know mental health plays an important role in an individual’s overall well-being – many times being directly connected to a person’s physical health. We are proud to partner with the Alliance of Coalitions of Healthy Communities and very pleased to be a sponsor of their Shatter the Stigma campaign, which raises much-needed funding for their life-saving work,” said Shelley DuFort, senior community liaison, Community Responsibility, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

If you have concerns about yourself or others, seek help. Take advantage of the Alliance’s resources by visiting achcmi.org.

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Photo credit: Bartek Szewczyk

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