The DuPage County Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Taskforce announced last week the award of grants to organizations to expand their capabilities in the fight against the opioid crisis in the County.

Among the recipients was Serenity House Counseling Services, Inc. in Addison which received $32,425 for its Prevention Education Program and Grief Group. The grant will support substance use disorder prevention education to youth in middle schools, high schools, and universities.

Serenity House was the leading recipient of a Prevention Leadership Team which includes the National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI) for its Teen Ambassadors Project for Mental Health, Substance Use Prevention and Stigma Reduction. The $50,000 grant will support and engage teen volunteers to act as substance use prevention, mental wellness, and stigma reduction peer support ambassadors. Funds will also be used for a mass media stigma reduction campaign, support social norming campaigns, and education to raise community awareness about mental health and substance use prevention for youth.

“In DuPage the opioid crisis impacts residents from all age groups, backgrounds and income levels,” said DuPage County Board member Greg Hart, who serves as co-chair of the HOPE Taskforce. “Our new grant projects will expand DuPage’s efforts to reduce substance use disorder and save lives through innovative solutions that leverage public, private and non-profit partnerships.”

County Board doubles resources toward the effort

The grant funding is made possible by the DuPage County Board, which has agreed to double the resources from $100,000 to $200,000 this year to support the work of the HOPE Taskforce. These funds allow the DuPage community to promote creative, effective programming delivered by organizations who work every day with individuals working toward recovery. The investment of the County’s funds is in addition to the millions of dollars that DuPage County organizations have received, which comes with specific, prescribed interventions that must be followed.

“We seek to ensure any individuals impacted by the disease of addiction, have full access to substance use prevention, education, treatment and recovery services equal to that of other diseases,” said Dr. Lanny Wilson, vice president of the DuPage County Board of Health and HOPE Taskforce co-chair. “We have a culture of collaboration philosophy in DuPage and our new projects will broaden the impact of Taskforce efforts.”

The HOPE Taskforce has reserved a portion of the allocated resources from the County Board to fund a second round of grant opportunities in the fall.

Other recipients of the HOPE Taskforce funds were:

• 516 Light Foundation – Sober Home Hope in North Aurora, which received $10,000 to support individuals from relapsing after completing a treatment program by providing funds for a sober living home; and,

• Gateway Foundation in Downers Grove, which received $20,330 to help expand treatment options by introducing Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) therapy to those seeking treatment for substance use or mental health issues.


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