SERINO HOSTS VIRTUAL CANDID FORUM ON ADDICTION AND RECOVERY

Sue Serino

October 09, 2020

HYDE PARK, NY – With the COVID-19 pandemic providing added challenges to those suffering with addiction, Senator Sue Serino partnered with Unshattered, Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health and the Prevention Council of Putnam on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 to host a “Candid Conversation on Addiction and Finding Hope in Recovery” virtual panel.

“Hearing first-hand from the women at Unshattered as they share their personal stories never ceases to inspire and amaze me,” said Senator Sue Serino. “Unshattered has helped countless women get back on their feet by teaching them critical skills that are needed in today’s workforce and job market. These women came with a message for others that recovery is possible, and last night’s event was an important reminder for anyone who may be struggling with addiction that help is always available here in our local community.”

This unique community event featured speakers from Unshattered who discussed their struggle with addiction, their journey to recovery and the role that Unshattered plays in their daily lives. All three of the speakers are now employed at Unshattered and spoke on how the support system between their co-workers and Kelly Lyndgaard, Founder and CEO of Unshattered, has positively impacted their recovery process.

Kelly Lyndgaard, Founder and CEO of Unshattered, said, “Senator Serino continues to be an incredible advocate for our neighbors. Unshattered was grateful to share this platform with so many of the other great resources in our community. Our team is showing the world that it is possible for people in recovery to end the relapse cycle, thrive, and become an asset to any business or community.”

This event also featured presentations from Jean-Marie Niebuhr, Director of Coordinated Services of the Dutchess County Department of Community and Behavioral Health, and Kristin McConnell, Director of the Prevention Council of Putnam. Both spoke on the resources available in their respective counties and on a state level.

Jean-Marie Niebuhr, Director of Coordinated Services at the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health said, “Dutchess County is fully committed to ending the opioid epidemic in our community.  Although challenges exist, there is so much hope in the countless stories of people in recovery.  We are working tirelessly to develop innovative approaches that support people who use drugs and the ones who love them” 

"Like you, we are still processing all the changes that are taking place as a result of COVID-19. I am committed to continuing to provide prevention, education and information to the residents of Putnam County. On behalf of all of us at the Prevention Council of Putnam, please continue to keep you and your family healthy and safe and know that we are here for you" said Kristin McConnell, Executive Director of the Prevention Council of Putnam.   

The event concluded with a free Narcan Training led by Lori Levine, Public Health Education Coordinator for the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health. Narcan is a medication that is known to reverse the effects of an overdose long enough until first responders and medical professional arrive. Individuals who participated in the virtual training are now eligible to pick up their free Narcan kit from the Dutchess County Stabilization Center. For those unable to attend Senator Serino’s virtual event but are interested in completing the training, click here to view a list of trainings being offered by Dutchess County. Putnam County will offer an in-person training on Tuesday, October 13th from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church (460 N. Main Street, Brewster, NY 10509).

Unshattered is a community organization that works to provide women in recovery on the job-training and professional development in their local shop based in Hopewell Junction. While they typically sell hand made bags and purses, during the COVID-19 pandemic, they changed all operations to provide masks for healthcare professionals and the community. Since March, they created over 9,000 masks. For more information on Unshattered, click here.

To view a recording of this event, click here.