An in-depth education tool has been tailored for Hardin County in the form of a communication campaign that is set to be launched on Monday, November 4th, 2019. It is the Hardin County Opioid Response Program (HCORP) coalition’s desire to increase awareness for those at risk for prescription opioid misuse and overdose.
In 2018, Family Counseling Center, Inc. entered into a formal coalition with Hardin County General Hospital, SIU School of Medicine: Center for Rural Health and Social Sciences, Southern 7 Health Department and Prevention First of Springfield to combine knowledge, skills, resources and a passion for addressing opioid use within Hardin County. With the support of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Rural Communities Opioid Response (Planning) Program, Family Counseling Center, Inc. and the coalition sought to gain a better understanding of the prevalence/incidence of opioid use disorder as well as its overall impact in Hardin County. In January, 2019, the dissemination of a community needs assessment survey resulted in the need for prevention, treatment, and recovery awareness of opioid use disorder. Over the course of one year, the coalition has developed evidence-based, data-driven strategic plans to adequately respond to the opioid issues within Hardin County including the use of a communication campaign.
The HCORP’s Be the One campaign is one of empowerment for adults of all ages to be the one to:
• Increase knowledge about how opioid use occurs/happens, and
• Increase help-seeking behaviors and emotional well-being practices.
With similar nation and state-wide campaigns being conducted, the HCORP coalition wanted to personalize the messages specifically for Hardin County. Along with the community needs assessment survey results, a focus group of county residents was conducted to learn how the concepts, messages, and campaign brand would resonate with the target audience and motivate them to talk with family, friends, and healthcare providers about the risks of prescription opioid use, misuse, and overdose. Over the course of 11 months, the campaign will release 5 distinct messages that will be further communicated through a series of testimonial videos and resources in order for county residents to make informed decisions regarding opioid use and misuse. These messages will be distributed through printed materials, campaign website, Hardin County Independent and a strong social media presence.
The Campaign Launch
Starting November 4th, 2019, the HCORP consortium will launch the Be the One campaign as can be seen on its own Facebook page and the campaign’s website – www.fccinconline.org/betheone. Along with campaign posters, the campaign will make use of business cards that will allow individuals to discreetly carry these messages with them. Each message will cover approximately two months before another message will be rolled out. Due to in-kind support in the funding of its dissemination, Family Counseling Center, Inc. and the HCORP coalition hopes that each organization and person within Hardin County that understands the importance of reducing opioid misuse and overdose will assist in spreading these important messages in order to reach everyone in the county. Family Counseling Center, Inc. will be reaching out to community stakeholders and faith-based organizations to take an active part in the campaign’s dissemination. For more information, please contact Alisha Foster, LCSW at fccinconline.org/betheone/ .