ETSU partnering with city & county mayors to help prevent substance abuse

ETSU, Insight Alliance and First Tennessee Development District hosted a luncheon on Tuesday.

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL)- East Tennessee State University’s new Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment is working with city and county mayors in the area to help prevent substance abuse.

The ETSU center, along with Insight Alliance and the First Tennessee Development District, hosted a luncheon on Tuesday to introduce a work-place prevention initiative to 50 employers from across the Tri-Cities region. It’s called “Team Awareness” and strives to create a positive work culture and reduce the stigma around getting help.

“[It teaches people] how do you manage stress in a healthy way in a work environment, how do you help each other, how do you communicate effectively,” said Angela Hagaman, the director of operations for the ETSU Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment, “So many of the modules aren’t specifically about drugs and alcohol but there are evidence-based interventions about how to approach that should it come up.”
Hagaman said the center started working with city and county mayors about two years ago after they expressed interest in helping to combat the prescription drug abuse problem in the region. Hagaman said the goal is for employers to send an employee to a five-day training session where they will learn how to implement the “Team Awareness” model. “If our workforce begins to know how to identify it early, get people help, reduce the stigma around help seeking then over the next 3, 5, 10 years it can change everything about our regional workforce and we can become viable, healthy and attractive to outside industry,” Hagaman said.

The tentative training dates are October 24-28th. Registration and cost is $895 per person. Employers who are interested in more information or to register should contact Mark Stevans, director of special projects for the First Tennessee Development District at mstevans@ftdd.org or 423-928-0224.

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