Recovery Resources Tackles Behavioral Health Issues in Cleveland

In Cuyahoga County, behavioral health service demand far exceeds capacity.

“Hospital emergency rooms are backed up, the opiate addiction has been declared a national health crisis, our specialty court dockets for mental health and addiction are growing, our criminal justice system has the single largest population of individuals with behavioral health needs, and our front line responders are reaching out for assistance,” explains Diane Tomer, Director of Development and Marketing at Recovery Resources, an organization working to provide that assistance.

Founded in 1955, Recovery Resources has been educating youth to prevent addictions, providing treatment to help people regain their physical and mental health, and offering housing and employment services to support clients as they continue living their journey of recovery.

After the Cleveland Police 4th District started logging over 7,000 behavioral health calls each month, the Cleveland Police Foundation contacted Recovery Resources to explore ways to collaborate and tackle the issue.

What resulted was a partnership and development of a pilot program to provide alcohol and drug prevention outreach and engagement with “transition-aged youth and their families or caregivers to increase awareness of and promote healthy behaviors,” explains Tomer.

“With funding provided by the Callahan Foundation, Recovery Resources will provide Alcohol and Drug prevention education for school aged children in the eight area neighborhoods and six wards in the district, as well as offer mental health first aid training to police officers on foot patrol,” describes Tomer.

In addition to outreach and engagement, the project will track recidivism, improve referral and access to care, and create a culture with foot patrol to be pro-active identifying people who may be having mental health crisis by providing de-escalation tactics and preventing arrest.

Because of the stigma that surrounds mental illness and drug addiction, “addressing its causes and devastating consequences is not easy because it requires the rethinking of traditional beliefs,” Tomer continues.

With help from the Callahan Foundation and other organizations who speak out against stigma to support the work the organization does in the community, Recovery Resources is able to continue to serve over 9,000 people each year who may have few other places to turn. The Callahan Foundation is proud to support Recovery Resources with a $15,000 grant towards their programming.

Learn more about Recovery Resources.