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VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION “The Voices of Recovery: Celebrating Connections”

 The COVID-19 pandemic has exasperated significant challenges for individuals who experience a mental health or substance use disorder and feel isolated and alone. Stigma and healthcare disparities have intersected with COVID-19 minimizing ready access to these resources for Black and Brown communities.  Overdose rates in Indiana have risen 40 % since January 2020.  Support is essential to recovery, so it’s important that family members and the community have the tools to start conversations about prevention, treatment, and recovery. Too many people are still unaware that intervention, treatment, and continued support works, and that mental health and substance use disorders can be treated, just like other health problems.

Mental health and substance use disorders affect people of all ethnicities, genders, geographic regions, and socioeconomic levels, and they need to know that help is available. These individuals can get better, both physically and emotionally, with the support of a welcoming community. That’s why the Indianapolis Recorder is hosting a virtual town hall discussion with PACE’s (Public Advocates for Community Re-entry) Recovery Resource Center.   PACE houses the only Recovery Resource Center in the city, where we utilize professionals and volunteers to assist men, women, families, and communities who need support and re-development after being affected by addiction.

The town hall is 10 a.m., Saturday, September 19 at facebook.com/IndyRecorder live and sponsored by PACE (Public Advocates in Community Re-Entry), Eastern Star Church, Harrison Center, Indiana Addictions Issues Coalitions, Overdose Lifeline, and State Representative Robin Shackleford.

“Before, my life was sad. Miserable. Unmanageable. A lot of emptiness. Lost. I was in and out of prison and I was scared to death. I had lived one way so long that I wasn’t sure I was ready to life a new life. PACE has helped me make better decisions. I was too proud to ask for help before but I am able to do that now. Had I not asked PACE for help my life would be completely different.” – PACE Recovery Resource Center Participant

Moderators are:


  • Gina Fears, Assistant Director Recovery and Community Services, PACE, Inc. (Public Advocates in Community Re-Entry)
  • Darnae’ Scales, Missions Manager, Eastern Star Care

Panelists are: 


  • Brandon George, Executive Director of Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition
  • Douglas Huntsinger, Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement
  • Vop Osili, President of the Indianapolis City-County Council
  • Dr. Brad Ray, Wayne State University, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice  
  • The Honorable Robin Shackleford, Indiana House of Representatives 98th District

To ensure as many people as possible can access the webcast, it is available on both Facebook and   Zoom.  To watch on Facebook, click here. To RSVP on Zoom, click here.

Please register for this event on zoom at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kZEaLHNUSzSFjAGG26p8Ag

The public is encouraged to submit questions for the panel in advance by sending them to Gina Fears, gfears@PaceIndy.org, or by posting questions on the Recorder’s Facebook page: facebook.com/IndyRecorder.

For additional information contact:

Gina Fears, Assistant Director Recovery and Community Services, PACE, Inc. (Public Advocates in Community Re-Entry) gfears@PaceIndy.org

recovery town hall updated

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