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Southern Colorado Health Network COS Faith Community Learning Opportunity

 

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Good morning!
My name is Corri Mercy, and I am the PWUD (People Who Use Drugs) Services Coordinator with Southern Colorado Health Network. My job is to provide services and support to individuals who are currently using drugs or struggling with substance use disorder. This population has historically been overlooked and discarded, which is partly why our organization focuses so strongly on serving and supporting them.

In 2020, El Paso County lost 186 individuals to fatal overdoses, ranking us as the county with the second highest fatal overdose rate in the state. In 2021, we saw a dramatic increase in the number of overdoses, with 227 lives lost. Additionally, the number of fentanyl related deaths in our county more than doubled. Despite these heartbreaking numbers, the number of overdose prevention services, community education, and treatment providers remains extremely small. 

In late 2021, I started an initiative called Love Alive as a direct response to the dramatic increase in overdose deaths. This initiative provides free and accessible Narcan (the overdose reversal drug), fentanyl test strips, trainings, and Emergency Overdose Kits to local businesses and organizations. 

I am reaching out today because I believe that, as people of faith, you are also people of love and compassion. The role that churches and religious organizations play in supporting our most vulnerable community members should be one of support and love - the question many have is, “How?” 

I would like to personally invite you and your congregation to join Love Alive in collaboration with Vista Grande Community Church from 1pm - 4pm on May 14, 2022, to find out how. This completely free workshop will cover topics like:

  • Harm reduction principles and basics 
  • The intersections between faith communities, harm reduction, and people who use drugs
  • How to administer Narcan, where to obtain it, and why carrying it is important
  • Information on the current Fentanyl crisis within Colorado and our local communities
  • Mental health, recovery, and harm reduction from a faith-based perspective

There will also be opportunities to have your questions answered, to learn about local resources for people who are currently struggling or for family and friends who may need support, and ways to get involved in the community

We are reaching out to your church specifically because you have committed to being a welcoming congregation for all, because you are an active and engaging presence in the community, and because you are involved in service opportunities. It is my hope that you will share this important event with your congregation and staff and encourage them to attend.

If you have any questions about this workshop or how you can get involved, please feel free to reach out to me directly at corri.mercy@coloradohealthnetwork.org 

To reserve your ticket for this free event, click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/keeping-love-alive-through-harm-reduction-a-faith-based-approach-tickets-320911413677

We look forward to seeing you at our event, and engaging in this important conversation! 

With Gratitude, 

Corri Mercy, CAT, RYT200 

Corri.mercy@coloradohealthnetwork.org

O: 719.283.6197

 

Wed, May 25 2022 24 Iyyar 5782